Manuel Jamines was killed on September 5 by a shot to the head from Los Angeles Police Department officer Frank Hernandez, who was responding to a call of an intoxicated man who was threatening people with a knife. On Monday Jamines’ family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles, who say that Hernandez violated Jamines’ civil rights.
Jamines’ family says that eyewitnesses claim to have seen a different set of events unfold, and that the shooting was unjustified.
The LAPD said that Hernandez shot the 37-year-old father of three after he refused to drop the weapon he was carrying, and that the orders were communicated in both English and Spanish, except that Jamines spoke neither very well. He was most fluent in K’iche’, a language spoken by a million indigenous Mayans from Central America.
From Los Angeles’ KABC:
“The evidence will show that the incident did not happen as described by the shooting officer, and that the shooting was unnecessary, unreasonable and excessive,” said attorney Dale Galipo.
“The only time you can use deadly force if you feel you are about, at that moment, to be killed,” said Galipo. “And we believe the evidence will show that at the moment this happened, the officer was not about to be killed.”
Both the LAPD and Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa have given Hernandez their unequivocal support, but also promised a thorough investigation into the issue. Hernandez is embroiled in another legal fight against a civilian who claims Hernandez shot him in 2008 unnecessarily.
Jamines’ death set off several nights of protest in the Westlake District, a predominantly Central American and new immigrant neighborhood in Los Angeles.