WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO BELOW
Deputies Kill Man Suffering a Mental Health Crisis
(CA) – The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) had another wrongful death lawsuit filed against them. This one was regarding the shooting of David Ordaz Jr. on March 14. Mr. Ordaz was suffering from depression and was having a mental health crisis. His sister was sitting in his car with him trying to calm him down. When she was unable to, she made a 911 call to ask a dispatcher for help with what to say to Ordaz.
LASD deputies arrived and ordered Ordaz out of the car. He complied but refused to drop the kitchen knife he had. Attempts were made to talk Ordaz into dropping the knife. Deputies claim that Ordaz lunged at them, but police bodycam footage shows Ordaz attempting to flee down the sidewalk. Deputies immediately open fire. Ordaz falls to the ground as deputies continue shooting. At least 12 shots can be heard. 10 of the shots hit Ordaz in the back and side of his body proving that he was not charging at deputies. While Ordaz is lying on the ground, there is a slight pause in the shooting then a final shot is sent into his chest, killing him.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva, through the LASD website, released the following press release on July 30.
On March 14, 2021, deputies responded to a call of a man with a knife who was under the influence of drugs and wanted to commit “suicide by cop.” Tragically, David Ordaz Jr. died as a result of wounds sustained in a deputy involved shooting. Our hearts go out to his family and loved ones. This event was captured on body worn camera video and a critical incident video of the event has been posted at LASD.org under our Transparency Promise webpage. I want to clearly state I have grave concerns regarding this deputy involved shooting. One of the deputies has been relieved of duty and their peace officer powers have been suspended, pending the outcome of this investigation.
Upon completion of the investigation, it will be submitted to the Los Angeles County District Attorney – Justice System Integrity Division, who will determine the legality of the shooting. Additionally, the investigation will be shared with Los Angeles FBI Field Office for their review.
Internal Affairs Investigation
It’s a good thing that the FBI will be reviewing the investigation. The LASD internal affairs investigation cannot be trusted. The LASD has been rocked by multiple accusations of excessive force, profiling, police violence, and even deputy gangs. To be accepted as a gang member, deputies had to use physical violence against members of the public and people in custody.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva has previously refused to condemn actions by his deputies. He has also denied allegations of deputy gangs even though at least one allegation came from a deputy who was a member of one of the gangs. Villanueva talks about transparency, but does not explain why it took almost 4 1/2 months to release the bodycam video. Sheriff Villanueva is under intense pressure to resign and this may be why he relieved one deputy of his duties. He has shown no interest, in the past, to hold his deputies accountable for their actions.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Names Four Deputies
The family of David Ordaz has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. The lawsuit names “sheriff’s Deputies Edwin Navarrete, Remin Piñeda, Jaime Romero and Nathaniel Trujillo as defendants.” This lawsuit joins the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the parents of Andres Guardado. Guardado was also shot by deputies with the LASD. According to witnesses, Guardado was on his knees with his hands in the air when he was shot in the back, multiple times, and killed.
Ordaz’s Daughter’s Statement
Per NBC News,
His daughter, Emily Ordaz, said in a statement Friday, “I wish I could tell him how great of a father he was. I wish I could tell him that we’re all human, that it’s OK to struggle with depression and anxiety, that it’s ok to struggle with addiction.”
“Unfortunately,” she said, “law enforcement doesn’t see it the way I do. Instead they used my dad’s mental illness against him, they made it seem like he deserved to be killed.”