LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A federal civil rights lawsuit filed today alleges Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies used unjustifiable lethal force when they shot and killed a knife-wielding 34-year-old man in the midst of a mental health crisis.
David Ordaz Jr. was shot and killed in East Los Angeles on March 14 after family members called for help during a crisis in which the man was holding a knife and appeared suicidal, according to the complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court.
An LASD spokeswoman said the department does not comment on pending litigation.
A videotape of the shooting appears to show Ordaz, after being hit with non-lethal rounds, turning to flee down the sidewalk. Deputies alleged Ordaz lunged at them, prompting lethal force, according to the complaint for wrongful death and civil rights violations.
“In fact, the coroner’s report shows that all of the bullets except two, struck him on the back and on the side and the final bullet as visualized in the video shows a helpless David Ordaz Jr. looking up from the pavement without any weapon, and the killing shot was fired into his chest,'' the lawsuit alleges.
Ordaz's family alleges in the suit that LASD deputies “carelessly managed, maintained, operated, controlled, and supervised'' the incident.
Instead of de-escalating the situation, deputies fired multiple bullets, instantly killing the father of three, attorney Federico Sayre contends.
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