"The deputies denied medical care to Nicholas Robertson in a manner that demonstrated deliberate indifference to his constitutional rights."
A family has filed a lawsuit naming Los Angeles County and Does 1-10 as defendants for the “needless” death of an African-American man who was shot at least 30 times by the county sheriff’s deputies.
On the morning of December 12, 2015, two sheriff’s deputies let loose an avalanche of bullets on Nicholas Robertson as he walked by an Arco gas station at Long Beach Boulevard and Magnolia Avenue in Lynwood.
The deputies, who could be seen in a graphic cell phone video aiming and shooting at the 28-year-old father of three, claimed he had a firearm and posed a threat to the people around him.
The deputies claim that they opened fire at Robertson after he pointed his gun at them. But there is no video evidence to corroborate their claims.
However, Robertson’s wife, three minor children and parents say although he was carrying a gun, he did not pose any threat to the officers or the public prior to his slaying.
“He did have a gun, but I don’t think he was threatening anyone. He was no threat to the officers,” the family’s attorney Brian Dunn told Courthouse News.
Attorney Dunn added that it was not illegal to have a firearm and that just having a one is not enough proof “that he [Robertson] would definitely be a great threat to an officer or other person.”
In the complaint, which is handled by Dunn, an attorney with the Cochran Firm California, in Los Angeles, the family maintains that Robertson made no aggressive movements, gestures, and physical movements to suggest “he had the will or the ability to inflict substantial bodily harm against any individual.”
Robertson’s family says the deputies left him to die, and is seeking punitive damages for wrongful death, civil rights violations and constitutional violations.
“Following the shooting, the involved deputies denied medical care to Nicholas Robertson in a manner that demonstrated deliberate indifference to his constitutional rights,” the complaint states.
When law enforcement officers encounter white people with a firearm, their first line of action is to ask about license or other documents. However, the same cannot be said for black people, who are met with lethal force even when the gun in question is a toy gun in the hands of a 12-year-old.
Slayings like these have made African-American gun owners become increasingly worried about that their Second Amendment rights are not protected as much as their white counterparts’.
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