Inglewood is getting a lot of attention lately because of the impending arrival of NFL professional football. But a police shooting in the city that left a mother and father dead in February continues to draw a lot of questions – and not a lot of answers.
“Between the two of them, seven children no longer have parents,” said Rev. Francisco Garcia, who leads Holy Faith Episcopal Church in Inglewood. “It is a travesty.”
Garcia spoke Tuesday at a gathering outside Inglewood City Hall of about a dozen activists, mostly from his church. They took the occasion of All Souls Day and the Day of the Dead to draw attention to the police killings.
“It is a deep affront to all that is holy in this world that such a thing can happen,” said Garcia as he stood before a Day of the Dead alter with skull candles, flowers and a picture of Kisha Michael, 31, and Marquintan Sandlin, 32.
Police have said little about the incident. In a news release issued shortly after the shootings, the department said officers were responding to reports of a car stopped in a traffic lane on Manchester Blvd, a major thoroughfare. But it was shortly after 3 a.m. Nobody was out.
Officers found the two apparently unconscious, a handgun in Michael’s lap.
According to Mayor James Butts, officers “spent about 45 minutes trying to rouse” them.
But an autopsy report says police opened fired within five minutes of arriving – hitting Michael 13 times and Sandlin twice with shotgun and assault rifle fire.
Butts did not return a phone call from KPCC requesting comment on the discrepancy.
Police said officers at one point ordered the two out of the car. But they have not said what prompted officers to open fire.
“The case that you are inquiring about is under investigation and there is no further information to release at this time,” Inglewood Police Lt. Scott T. Collins said Tuesday.
Collins did not respond to a follow-up email asking how long the department typically takes to investigate its shootings and whether they are made public.
Activists vowed to keep a spotlight on the shooting.
“We will not forget," said Garcia. "We will be back here.”
Meantime, the family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city and the Inglewood Police Department.