Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies in Fatal Shooting of Homeless Man

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies in Fatal Shooting of Homeless Man

Attorneys representing the family of Arturo Cernas, a 34-year-old homeless man who was fatally shot by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the county. The lawsuit alleges that deputies used excessive force when they shot Cernas four times in the back outside a gas station in Carson. It further claims that the deputies failed to provide immediate aid and neglected to employ proper de-escalation tactics.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Cernas’ mother, Beatriz Loera, and his three children, accuses the deputies of disregarding Cernas’ mental health condition and failing to follow appropriate procedures, such as involving the agency’s mental health teams. The family’s attorneys argue that the deputies should have notified these specialized teams to respond to the situation. Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that the deputies did not warn Cernas of their intention to use nonlethal weapons.

The shooting occurred in the early hours of August 7 at a Chevron gas station located at Albertoni Street and Central Avenue. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, deputies from the Carson station were dispatched to the gas station after an employee reported a man screaming and causing a disturbance.

Video footage from a deputy’s body-worn camera captured the interaction and subsequent shooting. In the video, Deputy Carlos Maciel and another deputy approach Cernas, questioning him about the contents of his pocket. The Sheriff’s Department stated that deputies noticed a handgun protruding from Cernas’ pocket. Maciel is seen drawing his service weapon while asking Cernas about the object. However, the commands from the second deputy telling Cernas to raise his hands in the air overlap with Maciel’s question, causing confusion.

After Cernas throws his bag to the ground, both deputies take cover behind a cruiser’s doors and instruct Cernas to kneel and place his hands behind his head. It took several commands before Cernas complied. The deputies continued to warn him not to reach into his backpack or left pocket. In another body camera recording, the second deputy informs Maciel of his plan to use a 40-millimeter foam projectile if Cernas reaches into his left pocket. Shortly after, the deputy fires the projectile while Maciel simultaneously fires his service weapon. Cernas can be heard screaming in the background.

Surveillance cameras at the gas station also captured the incident, showing Cernas on his knees attempting to discard what appeared to be a weapon from his left pocket. The weapon turned out to be a BB gun resembling a firearm. Cernas sustained four gunshot wounds to his back, which damaged his heart, small intestines, and caused other injuries, according to an autopsy report included in the family’s complaint.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department released a statement acknowledging the incident but stated that it had not officially received the lawsuit. The department emphasized its commitment to protecting diverse communities without bias and prejudice.

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

2 Responses

  1. This wrongful death lawsuit highlights the importance of holding law enforcement accountable for their actions. In this case, the family of Arturo Cernas, a homeless man who was fatally shot by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies, is seeking justice and compensation for their loss. This real-world application demonstrates the need for transparency and accountability within law enforcement agencies to ensure that incidents like these are thoroughly investigated and that justice is served. It also serves as a reminder that everyone, regardless of their circumstances, deserves to be

  2. While it is tragic that Arturo Cernas lost his life, it is important to consider the circumstances leading up to the shooting. Law enforcement officers often face dangerous situations and have split seconds to make life or death decisions. It is possible that the deputies involved felt threatened or believed that Cernas posed a danger to themselves or others. Filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the county may not be fair or justified without a thorough investigation into the incident. It is crucial to gather all the facts and

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