LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles County and the parents of a 28-year-old man killed by sheriff's deputies in 2014 reached a settlement of the couple's lawsuit in which they alleged their son obeyed deputies' commands to put down a knife he was holding before they shot him more than 10 times anyway, the family's attorney said today.
The lawsuit, filed in April 2015 in Los Angeles Superior Court by Roberto and Antonia Martinez, also alleged that deputies ignored Johnny Martinez's father when he said his son was mentally ill and could be calmed down.
The Martinez's attorney, Kevin Boyle, said the settlement is subject to approval by the Board of Supervisors and that he could not comment on the amount until the figure is placed on the board's agenda as public information.
The lawsuit alleged wrongful death, civil rights violations and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
The shooting occurred just before 7 p.m. Oct. 4, 2014, in the 1100 block of 75th Street in an unincorporated area just east of South Los Angeles. According to the earlier sheriff's department statement, deputies arrived to find a male adult victim with apparent stab wounds.
The wounded man was a friend and neighbor of Johnny Martinez and said Martinez attacked him with a kitchen knife, according to the LASD.
``As deputies attempted to detain the suspect, the suspect produced a knife and attempted to assault the deputies,'' the earlier statement read. ``The deputies initially administered less-lethal force, but it was ineffective. The suspect continued his assault on the deputies, at which time a deputy-involved shooting occurred.''
The lawsuit, however, stated that Martinez obeyed the deputies' order to put the knife on the ground. His father told them that his son was schizophrenic and pleaded with them to let him speak to him and ease tensions, but was ignored, the suit stated.
The deputies shot Martinez more than 10 times, according to the complaint.
``Despite Johnny Martinez's following the deputies' instruction to place his knife on the ground, the deputies negligently and recklessly opened fire at Johnny Martinez without warning,'' the lawsuit alleged. ``Many less lethal options were available to the ... deputies other than shooting and killing Johnny Martinez.''
The complaint stated that because the deputies were told by Martinez's father that his son was mentally ill, they could have sought help from available mental health services.
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