Southern California breaking news and trends

Family of teen killed by LAPD officers suing the City of Los Angeles

Abdul Arian

Shereen Marisol Meraji

Photo of 19 year old Abdul Arian stands outside his memorial service at Valhalla Memorial Park. Arian was shot to death by LAPD after he led them on a high speed chase and reportedly told 911 he was armed.

Abdul Arian was shot and killed by LAPD officers after a freeway chase April 11, 2012. His family is expected to announce Monday that they're suing the city for $120 million in federal court.

After a chase, Arian, 19, stopped his car, blocking lanes on the 101. A police car then hit the car's drivers side door, and Arian ran out the other side of the car. Video from a news chopper shows Arian running back and forth across the freeway, sometimes taking an odd stance (which some have described as a "shooting stance"), before he's fatally shot. 

Arian was unarmed, but police have said he called 911 and told dispatch he was carrying a gun and was ready to engage with police. That recording hasn't been released, but police did release a partial transcript of the conversation. In it, Arian is quoted as telling the dispatcher, "I have a gun," and "If they pull their guns, I'm gonna have to pull my gun out on them."

Arian's family has called LAPD's use of force — in which officers reportedly fired over 100 rounds at the teen — excessive. Family members have said that police should have used less lethal means to subdue Arian. They've also claimed that if officers feared for their lives in the confrontation with the teen, policy dictates officers should have taken cover, not shot their weapons. 

The City of Los Angeles rejected the family's claim for $120 million, which means the family is now free to sue.

Officer-involved shootings have risen dramatically in Los Angeles lately. In 2011, there were 54 fatal officer-involved shootings, up 70 percent from the prior year. 

Around the country, the number of officers killed by suspects has also risen: 72 were killed last year, up 75 percent from 2008. 

Correction: This post originally listed Arian's age as 17. He was 19 when he died.


blog comments powered by Disqus