PALMDALE – The family of a 32-year-old man shot dead by deputies in his garage last October, has filed a wrongful death and civil rights lawsuit against the County of Los Angeles.
Goldberg and Gage, the Woodland Hills law firm that represents the family of Darrell Logan Jr., filed the civil lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court Monday on behalf of Logan’s parents, Arzenia Ratliff and Darrell Logan Sr., and Logan’s daughter, Emani Dineh Logan.
The 92-page complaint alleges civil battery, wrongful death and civil right violations.
The lawsuit stems from a deputy-involved shooting that occurred on October 13, 2011.
According to a Sheriff’s press release issued on the day of the shooting, Palmdale Station deputies responded to Logan’s home in the 3100 block of Heather Avenue after receiving a call about gunfire coming from the residence. The report states deputies made verbal commands for the occupants to exit the garage, but the suspect refused to exit.
“When deputies entered the garage they were confronted by the armed suspect and a deputy-involved shooting occurred,” the Sheriff’s press report states. “The 32-year old male suspect [Logan] was struck and transported to a local hospital where he was subsequently pronounced dead.”
Logan’s wife, Krystle Washington, was at the house during the incident and gave her side of the story to The AV Times on Oct. 14. 2011. Read it here.
The wrongful death lawsuit alleges deputies entered private premises “without a warrant of any type” and subsequently entered the garage, which was occupied by Logan and another man.
“Deputies ordered the two men to raise their hands,” the complaint states. “Darrell and the other man complied with the officers’ verbal instructions and raised their hands… Darrell was unarmed and not in possession of any weapon. However, the officers opened fire. Darrell was shot approximately eleven times. The vast majority of the shots were in his back, including a number of fatal shots,” the complaint states.
Read the coroner’s Autopsy Report here.
The complaint also claims that “deputy gang cliques” are prevalent within the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and membership to these gangs is “conditioned upon involvement in officer involved shootings.”
“The existence and activities of gang cliques are tolerated and ratified by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department,” the complaint states. “Undersheriff Paul Tanaka is a tattooed member of the Vikings.”
The complaint includes a news articles from the Los Angeles Times dated April 20, 2012, which details the Sheriff’s Department’s internal probe into a secret deputy clique. The article claims the investigation was triggered by a document suggesting the clique embraced shootings as a badge of honor.
Additionally, the complaint references a federal investigation into racial discrimination by the Sheriff’s Department toward minorities in the Antelope Valley, and cites specific incidents where the Sheriff’s Department is alleged to have used excessive force against minorities in the Antelope Valley.
“Like other victims of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Darrell Logan Jr. was an African-American,” the complaint states.
Logan’s family seeks unspecified damages in the civil lawsuit.
Sheriff’s spokesman, Steve Whitmore, could not be reached by The AV Times for comment Tuesday. However, Whitmore told Courthouse News that the department was “looking forward to telling the whole story.”
Read the entire wrongful death complaint here.
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