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LA County reaches $8 million settlement with Andres Guardado’s family

Los Angeles County officials have reached an $8 million settlement with the family of Andres Guardado, an 18-year-old who was shot five times in the back by a deputy in June 2020. He worked as a security guard in a body shop. in Gardena at the time.

The settlement comes in response to a wrongful death lawsuit that Guardado’s family filed against the county.

Sheriff’s officials alleged Guardado showed a handgun when two deputies spotted him talking to someone in a car outside the body shop where he worked as a security guard, one of two jobs he had while studying at the Los Angeles Technical and Commercial Collegeaccording to his family.

Guardado then fled and officers chased him down an alley behind a building where he was killed, sheriff’s officials said. The officers involved were identified as Deputies Miguel Vega, who opened fire, and Chris Hernandez, who did not fire.

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office has yet to decide whether to press charges against Vega and Hernandez.

“While the settlement reached with Los Angeles County ends more than two years of civil litigation, it does not bring peace to our family or justice for our son,” said Cristobal Guardado, the father of the teenager, in a press release. statement.

Guardado’s settlement was unanimously approved Tuesday by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors alongside four other settlements involving the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

All of the settlements combined have cost county taxpayers more than $47 million “with a series of extremely disturbing allegations,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell said Tuesday. “We are facing shootings involving deputies, deaths in custody and allegations of excessive use of force.”

The largest settlement was awarded to Timothy Neal, who was shot dead by deputies in 2019 after he broke down his bedroom door, where he was holding two knives, according to the prosecutor’s office’s review of the incident. district. He was reportedly having a mental health crisis at his family’s home in Malibu when police entered, City News Service reported. Neal, who has become a paraplegic, is set to receive $16.5 million.

Prosecutors declined to press charges against the deputies involved in Neal’s case, concluding they acted in self-defense.

Among other settlements approved on Tuesday was a $16.2 million payout for relatives of Eric Briceno, who died after a violent struggle with sheriff’s deputies in Maywood in 2020, also after family members reported he was having a mental health crisis, City News Service reported.

The county will also pay $5 million to the family of Pedro Lopez, who was struck in a shootout between deputies and a carjacking suspect, and $1.9 million to the family of Rufino Paredes, who died by suicide in the custody of the sheriff’s department, according to the county. advice notes.

“With multi-million dollar settlements literally twice a month, I hope the department head will carefully consider his department’s actions and policies and his department’s costly actions before continuing to complain about this board canceling funding of said department,” Mitchell said in reference to the sheriff’s department.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department did not respond to NBC News’ request for comment. But Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who faces re-election on Tuesday, called the board’s actions and comments “campaigning” and “political theater,” City News Service reported.

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Associated Press contributed.


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