SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A federal jury has begun deliberating whether two Huntington Beach police officers wrongfully shot and killed a 20-year-old man during a traffic stop in a gang investigation.
Robert English, the attorney for the mother of Erick Catalan, said during closing arguments Thursday that Catalan showed no aggression and cooperated after police stopped the Lexus he was riding in in 2011.
English says the two officers lacked back-up and used excessive force — spraying at least 14 bullets at the car — after a gunshot was fired from the car by another passenger.
An attorney representing Huntington Beach, Neal Moore, says Catalan reached for the same gun the other passenger used, prompting a police officer to defend himself from harm.
The Orange County District Attorney's Office cleared both officers of wrongdoing.