On Tuesday, November 10, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office announced that it will be opening an independent investigation into the death of an 18-year-old man who was shot and killed in June. The shooting involved a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy.
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According to the story appearing on the NPR and PBS related website, GPB, this is the first investigation that the Los Angeles County Department of the Medical Examiner/Coroner has opened an inquest into in some 30 years. The last time such an inquiry was conducted was in 1981 after the death of Ron Settles, an African American man who died in a jail cell shortly after he was stopped for speeding by Signal Park Police Officers.
Andres Guardado was shot and killed on June 18, 2020. He died of multiple gunshot wounds. The circumstances surrounding the teen’s death sparked days of protest afterward.
At the request of his family, an independent autopsy found that Andres had been shot in the back five times. Cristobal and Elisa Guardados believe that the shooting death of their son by L.A. County Sheriff’s deputies was unjustifiable.
Judge Candace Cooper, who retired from the California Court of Appeals, was appointed by the L.A. County Coroner’s Office to conduct the inquiry into Guardados’ death and is set to begin working on the case at the end of this month.
After concluding her investigation, Judge Cooper will submit her findings and recommendations to Los Angeles County’s Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner, Dr. Jonathan Lucas.
In recent months, the handling of this case and several others has placed Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva and his deputies under increased public scrutiny and criticism.