Jean Thaxton, mother of Michael Nida, flanked by her husband, attorney Brian Claypool and family members, spoke at a news conference in front of the Downey police station today.
An attorney for the family of 31-year-old Michael Nida, the unarmed man who Downey police officers shot to death during a confrontation in October, says department officials have ignored a pattern of excessive force and racial profiling.
Attorney Brian Claypool joined family and friends of Nida as they held picket signs and wore t-shirts that displayed the victim’s face during a news conference outside Downey Police headquarters.
Police shot Nida several times while an armed robbery investigation was underway and have reportedly admitted that Nida, who wasn’t armed, might not have been the suspect they were looking for.
Claypool said a young Latino man contacted him last week and said he believes the same officer who shot Nida, also a Latino, pulled a gun on him last summer during what Claypool says was a routine traffic stop.
The man alleged the officer assaulted him while he was on the ground, according to Claypool.
The attorney maintained that Downey Police Chief Rick Esteves was told that the officer in question had a propensity for violence, but has looked the other way.
Claypool is pushing for the City Council to adopt a citizens review committee to investigate similar matters and make recommendations to the chief of police. Protesters added that they'll march Saturday in Downey to call for an end to racial profiling and police brutality.
The Downey Police Department offered no comment, though they are investigating the shooting.