The family of an innocent bystander mistakenly gunned down by police will receive $6.7 million as part of a settlement reached with the city of Oxnard.
Alfonso Limon Jr.'s family filed a lawsuit against the city and the Oxnard Police Department last March, alleging officers were negligent and wrongfully shot and killed him.
As part of the settlement, the city will also be required to look into equipping its officers with body cameras or vehicle dash cameras to record similar incidents, his family’s attorneys said in a statement.
“Our hope is that the changes that the Limon family demanded the police department make as part of this settlement will prevent innocent people from being killed or harmed in the future,” their attorney, Tom Schultz, said in a statement. “This case wasn’t about money. It was about justice for Alfonso.”
The city and police department also agreed to educate its officers that recording audio in incidents like the shooting death is department policy, according to the statement.
The day Limon was shot and killed, Oct. 13, will be declared “Community Safety and Anti-Violence Day” in honor of him, his family’s attorney said. The city agreed to install a memorial plaque near the site of the shooting.
“Until the District Attorney has completed his review, we are refraining from responding to any questions related to the incident and this case,” the Oxnard Police Department said in an emailed statement.
Limon was shot to death on Oct. 13, 2012, while he was walking home with his younger sibling after jogging at a track, according to U.S. District Court documents.
Oxnard police officers confronted the brothers, who they thought were suspects who had allegedly shot at them during a traffic strop.
His attorneys said nine officers fired at the brothers and the other alleged suspects.
Limon, 21, was struck multiple times by gunfire and died. Witnesses saw him put up his hands and yell “don’t shoot,” according to court documents. His brother was not struck.
“The death of Alfonso Limon, Jr. was a tragedy,” family attorney Adam Shea said in the statement. “No family should ever have to suffer the loss of a child because of the recklessness of police officers who shoot first and ask questions later.”
One of the suspects, identified as 24-year-old Jose Zepeda Jr., was also shot and killed.
At the time, Oxnard Police Chief Jeri Williams backed her officers’ actions, who she said were returning gunfire to suspects who had “blatant disregard for anybody out there,” KTLA reported.
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