Last updated: about 1 year ago
The family of a 24-year-old man shot to death by West Covina police in late 2008 has accepted a $1.5 million settlement from the city to dismiss a lawsuit alleging excessive force and reckless intent, their attorney said Thursday. Omar Garcia of West Covina died Nov. 27, 2008, after being shot 15 times by two police officers in the parking lot behind a Target store.
The City Council authorized a $1.5 million settlement in the case earlier this month, city officials said. Two-thirds of the money will be paid by the city, while the remaining $500,000 will be covered by insurance.
City Attorney Arnold Alvarez-Glasman said the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing. He said it was offered to avoid the possibility of an even larger judgment being awarded by a jury.
Attorney Greg Owen - who represents Garcia's mother, Irma Herrera, and sisters Michelle Celeste Garcia and Jazmin Ortega - said the death stemmed from a case of mistaken identity.
Officers Stephen Delgadillo and Enrique Macias encountered Garcia in the parking lot of the Target store, 2370 S. Azusa Ave., during a manhunt for a suspect who had been involved in a shooting in the area earlier in the day, Owen said.
"When the actual facts of this incident came to light ... we found out that this boy was doing nothing wrong. And, in a case of mistaken identity, was killed by officer Macias, who shot him in the back approximately 10 times," Owen said.
September 2011 Settlement $1.5million