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LA County awards $5.3 million to family of slain Inglewood man by police

(Thinkstock)
(Thinkstock)

The Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved a $5.3 million settlement to be paid to the family of a 36-year-old Inglewood man who was fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies in Willowbrook in 2012.

Jose de la Trinidad was shot on Nov. 12, 2012, in the 1900 block of East 122 Street. The county coroner reported that the father of two was shot seven times, including five times in his back.

He was leaving a quinceanera party with his brother when sheriff’s deputies pulled them over for speeding.

When the two patrol deputies walked up to the car, “they observed the driver (de la Trinidad’s brother) pass a handgun to (Trinidad),” according to a summary prepared by county lawyers. The car then sped away and when it crashed next to a parked car, de la Trinidad jumped out and ran, according to the deputies.

“When he reached the sidewalk, he ran directly toward a deputy sheriff … (when he) twisted his upper body to the left while crouching over,” leading deputies to believe he was reaching for a gun and begin firing, the summary stated.

No gun was ever found.

A witness told the Los Angeles Times in 2012 that she saw the shooting from her bedroom window and that de la Trinidad had his arms above his head when he was shot.

Last May 27, the District Attorney’s Office concluded that the deputies “acted in lawful self-defense and defense of another” in the shooting. An Internal Affairs Bureau investigation of whether the deputies followed department policy in the shooting is still underway.

Citing the risks of litigation, county attorneys advised settlement.

The board’s vote was unanimous and without comment.

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