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Police release details of El Monte man's death following altercation with police

Rina Palta/KPCC

A memorial outside the home of Khoa Anh Le, who died after an altercation with El Monte police.

The Los Angeles Sheriff's Department has released information on 37-year-old Khoa Anh Le, who died June 14  after an altercation with El Monte Police. The department is investigating the incident.

Police were called to Le's home, which he shared with family, around 11:00 Thursday evening. Le had allegedly been fighting with his father and police decided to detain him on suspicion of elder abuse.

According to the sheriff's department, police had been to the home twice in the past on similar calls in 2005 and 2006. Both times, Le was taken into custody for mental observation (commonly known as a 5150 hold). In once instance, LASD says Le stabbed his brother.

When police arrived at his home Thursday, they say Le was coming out of a make-shift bedroom in the garage. When two officers entered and tried to detain Le, they say he immediately resisted and assaulted officers. In the scuffle that allegedly ensued between Le and police, Le was hit with a flashlight once, a baton three times, and a taser once, before being put in a carotid restraint (a form of choke hold) and handcuffed.

At that point, officers noticed Le was in medical distress and administered CPR and called paramedics. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Both officers were also taken to the hospital and treated — one with injuries on his or her nose and lip, and the other, who was also having trouble breathing, was treated for elbow and knee injuries.

The officers' names have not been released. 

Family members, who called police to the house for help, reportedly say now that police used excessive force. Unnamed family members told the Pasadena Star Tribune that Le was schizophrenic. They also told the paper that police struck Le more times than officially reported. 

The Los Angeles Coroner's office said the cause of death has not been determined yet, as medical examiners are awaiting additional test and toxicology results. 

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