The family of a man shot by LAPD officers earlier this month gathered Saturday afternoon for a vigil to call attention to the shooting. They said David Martinez was unarmed and posed no threat.
On a busy street corner in Echo Park, Gina Benavidez pointed to a stain on the sidewalk she said marks the spot where the incident occurred.
“The blood is right there," said Benavidez. “It’s wrong what they did.”
Martinez had just been released from jail that night, she said. They went to get a late-night snack about two blocks from their house.
“We went to buy some tacos,” Benavidez said. “He never got the chance to eat his tacos. The cops came and they harassed him. He flipped them off and he ran, and he turned back to surrender and they started shooting him point blank.”
She said Martinez remains in intensive care, recovering from injuries he received during the March 19 shooting.
The LAPD said in a statement that officers were responding to reports of gunfire.
When they found Martinez – a known gang member - they thought he had a pistol was turning to shoot them. LAPD is still investigating the shooting.
No weapon was ever found. Rudy Martinez said Saturday the only thing his brother was holding was a cell phone.
“David doesn’t carry guns,” he said. “He’s a peaceful man. He doesn’t bother no one and he doesn’t cause any trouble.”