The family of Guillermo Medina have held a press conference to announce a lawsuit against the City of Culver City after Medina was shot and killed by Culver City police officers.
As reported by FoxLA.com, Medina is alleged to have suffered with a mental health disorder, and he was shot in the back following a domestic violence call which turned into a chase just before Christmas.
According to the Fox story, “Officials with the Culver City Police Department said on Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, officers responded to a call for service of a domestic violence incident in the 3800 block of College Avenue, located near the intersection of Venice Boulevard and Overland Avenue. According to Culver City PD, Medina was threatening his wife with a handgun. Once officers arrived at the scene, Medina left the area in his vehicle and led officers on a pursuit.”
Medina is reported to have crashed his car near the corner of Culver Boulevard and Cardiff Avenue, before being pursued on foot by police. Moments later, he was shot. However, video provided to the family suggests that Medina had surrendered and taken into custody. The California Department of Justice is investigating the officer who shot Medina.
The press conference was held at 11:15 on Tuesday, Jan. 31 and streamed live on Facebook. Lawyer James DeSimone of V. James DeSimone Law announced the filing of the federal civil rights lawsuit, with Medina’s wife and children alongside him.
DeSimone said during the press conference that Medina had a spinal fusion and couldn’t run fast. He also pointed out that Medina was unarmed on the night in question, and off the medication that he took for paranoid schizophrenia.
“Instead of having the opportunity to get help, that cry for help became a death sentence,” DeSimone said.
The family is seeking compensation and punitive damages over the wrongful death, in a suit that describes CCPD’s use of force as “excessive and unreasonable.”
“We hope that this civil rights lawsuit will be the first step to achieving justice for the Medina family,” DeSimone said.
Medina’s wife Adriana stood up to say, through tears, “He did not deserve to be shot in the back, he did not deserve to die in the streets… He ws mentally ill – he needed help, not death… Culver City Police Department, you should be ashamed.”