LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Two deputies involved in the killing of Andres Guardado have been temporarily “relieved of duty in response to an unrelated investigation,'' the sheriff's department has announced.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva suspended the deputies on Monday, according to Deputy Shawn Du Busky of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
“When you're relieved of duty, they usually take your badge and firearm so you're unable to do any police action pending the end of the investigation,'' Du Busky told City News Service Friday.
The investigation is related to a traffic collision that occurred on April 13, Du Busky said, but he could not provide further information while the investigation is ongoing.
Deputy Miguel Vega, the deputy who shot Guardado in June, was driving a patrol vehicle at 5 p.m. April 13 with a suspect in the backseat, when he pursued a man on a bicycle and crashed the patrol vehicle in an alley near Mona Boulevard and 130th Street in Willowbrook, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Vega was following the bicyclist because he believed he had a firearm, and when the bicyclist was about 30 feet ahead, Vega sped up and crashed into a concrete wall and a parked car, according to The Times.
The man in the backseat of the patrol vehicle sustained minor injuries. He told investigators Vega accelerated to between 55 and 60 mph, while Vega reported that he accelerated to between 30 and 35 mph, The Times reported.
Chris Hernandez, the other deputy involved in Guardado's death, was suspended in connection with the collision, but it was not clear how he was involved.
The FBI, Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office and the Office of the Inspector General are monitoring the investigation, according to Du Busky.
Vega fatally shot Guardado on June 18 while Guardado was running from authorities while working as an informal security guard at an auto shop near Gardena. Hernandez was with Vega but did not shoot.
The killing led to a coroner's office inquest -- the first in Los Angeles County in over 30 years -- into the death.
The inquest's hearing officer, retired California Court of Appeals Justice Candace D. Cooper, has not made findings related to Guardado's cause and manner of death.
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