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Grand Jury Probe Asked in Killing by SWAT Team

A lawyer for the family of a West Covina man who was shot 28 times in the back and killed by police on Labor Day demanded Thursday that the Los Angeles County Grand Jury investigate.

At a press conference, attorney Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. called the death of Darryl A. Stephens, 27, “an outrageous tragedy” and said the decision on whether to file criminal charges against the two West Covina SWAT team officers who killed Stephens should be made by citizens and not other police agencies. Cochran is representing Stephens’ father, Antonio Curtis, his mother, Carol Bulgin, stepmother Leisha Curtis and sister Melissa Stephens.

The Sheriff’s Department and the district attorney’s office are investigating Stephens’ death, but no decision has been made on whether to file criminal charges. Stephens was shot when the SWAT team officers burst into his apartment at 2 a.m. He was not a suspect, but police said they were looking for a shotgun reportedly used in the so-called “mall murders,” five San Gabriel Valley slayings in which two victims were kidnaped from a shopping mall.


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