According to a lawsuit brought by Oscar Leon Sanchez’s family, two Los Angeles Police Department officers used deadly force without good reason when they shot and killed him earlier this year. Sanchez was having a mental breakdown when he was confronted by police in his South L.A. home.
Leon Sanchez, 35, didn’t know what was going on when police officers came into his home on January 3 and shot him in the living room, his family said.
According to a lawsuit filed Thursday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, his last words were in Spanish. He told the cops “no les voy a dejar que me roben,” which means “I’m not going to let you rob me.”
The two LAPD officers who shot him, Diego Bracamontes and Christopher Guerrero, and the city of Los Angeles are all named as defendants in the lawsuit. When asked for a comment on the lawsuit’s claims, the LAPD did not reply right away.
The tweet below verifies the news:
LAPD shoot and kill South L.A. man who was having a mental breakdown, lawsuit claims https://t.co/jjVuhaVXiJ
— Robert L McKenna III (@RobertLMcKenna) May 26, 2023
At the time of the shooting, the LAPD’s social media account said that officers were reacting to reports of an attack with a deadly weapon. Officers said they saw a man carrying a “sharp metal object about a foot long.” He turned out to be Leon Sanchez.
The officers told the man several times to drop the item, but when he moved toward them, the LAPD said at the time, they shot him.
Leon Sanchez’s family says that when he was shot just before 6 p.m., he was holding a piece of a scooter.
According to the complaint, police said Leon Sanchez attacked someone near his home in the 2700 block of South Central Avenue a few hours before the killing, but he was at home when they got there. When police came to his house, Leon Sanchez was standing on a porch on the second floor. They talked to him for 10 minutes from the ground below.
His family said that the police got impatient and went into the house through an open back door. The complaint said that when the officers got to the back door, Leon Sanchez was standing in his living room. Five seconds after the officers got to the back door, Sanchez was shot.
Leon Sanchez was shot without being given any warnings, and his family says that the only orders police gave him were in English, even though they knew he only spoke Spanish. Emmanuel Leon Sanchez, his brother, was also in the living room and saw the cops shoot his brother.
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Sanchez was taken to a nearby hospital after he was shot, but he died there from his wounds.
Lawyers Christian Contreras and Humberto Guizar from Los Angeles filed the suit on behalf of Leon Sanchez’s family, which includes his brother and daughter, Wendy Leon Madero.
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