An unarmed man was shot in the back by Los Angeles County deputies following a car chase, an autopsy report said.
Jose De La Trinidad, 36, of Culver City, was shot five times in the back and once each in the hip and right forearm, also from behind, according to a Nov. 13 report from the county coroner’s office, the Los Angeles Times ( http://lat.ms/X6lwj6 ) reported Monday.
The father of two was in his brother’s car and had just left his nieces quinceanera – a special celebration of her 15th birthday – the night of Nov. 10 when deputies tried to pull it over for speeding, authorities said.
Two deputies shot De La Trinidad after the car stopped in the Willowbrook area and he got out of the passenger seat and appeared to be reaching for a gun, deputies said.
No gun was found.
His family, which is planning to sue the Sheriff’s Department, contends that De La Trinidad did nothing to provoke the shooting.
“Here’s a man who complied, did what he was supposed to, and was gunned down by trigger-happy deputies,” said Arnoldo Casillas, the family’s attorney, who provided a copy of the autopsy report to the Times.
Family members were among about 100 people who held a protest march in Compton on Saturday.
Some chanted: “No justice, no peace! No killer police!”
“He was doing everything he was supposed to,” said his widow, Rosie De La Trinidad. “All we’re asking for is justice.”
The coroner’s findings will be included in the Sheriff Department’s investigation of the shooting, sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said.
“Deadly force is always a last resort,” he said. “The deputies involved were convinced that the public was in danger when they drew their weapons.”
The department hoped to complete its investigation quickly, Whitmore said.
“We want to have answers about what happened that night soon rather than later,” he said. “Even then, we know it doesn’t change the grief the family is experiencing.”