Board of Supervisors May Sue Sheriff’s Department Over Shooting

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is exploring a lawsuit against the county’s own sheriff’s department over the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Andres Guardado in June.

Guardado was working as a security guard the night deputies responded to reports of a shooting in the area. When deputies approached Guardado, he ran, according to the coroner’s report. The report says Guardado was shot in the back five times. A gun with his DNA was found at the scene.

This week, Guardado’s family filed a lawsuit against the sheriff’s department alleging unreasonable use of deadly force and lack of oversight. County supervisors also say there has been a lack of transparency. They voted unanimously Tuesday to ask the coroner to conduct an inquest. County counsel will also report back on the feasibility of a lawsuit within 10 days.

“I am saddened that this motion had to be brought before us today,” said Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “The Guardado family deserves answers and the community as a whole is deserving of transparency. The apparent resistance to oversight is eroding years of work by this board and our law enforcement partners, and it is a disservice to the men and women of the Sheriff's Department that is undermining the good work that many of them are doing. It is an odd position to have to remind this sheriff that even as the chief law enforcement of L.A. County, he is not above the law."

Inspector General Max Huntsman said one of the deputies involved in the shooting is alleged to belong to a sheriff’s deputy gang and that his office has been unable to get much information.

“We have made requests for information that have been denied," Huntsman added.