As thousands of people take to the streets everyday to protest police brutality, yet another citizen has been killed by the police.
A deputy from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department fired six shots at 18-year-old Andres Guardado following a short pursuit foot, which ended up killing him. According to reports from Daily Breeze, the fatal shooting happened by a car-related business near Gardena, California, where he hung out and volunteered his time to stop potential taggers, authorities say.
Following outrage over yet another incident of police brutality, Sheriff’s investigators said they have not obtained any video evidence of the incident. While they said Guardado was armed–he was supposedly working secrutiy at the time–it was still unknown whether the teenager pointed that weapon at deputies when he was confronted.
Now, Guardado’s family has asked for an independent investigation into the shooting. In a statement on Saturday, County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas also called for an “immediate and independent investigation” by the Office of the Inspector General.
According to Sheriff Alex Villanueva though, this call to action was premature, since the department was still in the early stages of its investigation. He went on to say that this incident illustrates the importance of body cameras, which the agency does not have yet.
“Had the Board of Supervisors acted on this when I was first in office … this would not be the news it needed to be today because the deputies would have had them and we would have had more evidence to draw from,” Villanueva explained.
Regardless, Wegener says the department is currently working to obtain web-based video from a third party alarm company which provides services to the scene.
Before the hours of 5 and 6 p.m. on Thursday, two Compton Station deputies were on patrol when they observed Guardado talking to someone in a car that was blocking the driveway to the businesses, Wegener said. As they stopped parallel to the car, Guardado reportedly looked at the deputies, produced a handgun, and ran southbound down the driveway between businesses. When the deputies caught up to Guardado, one of them fired six shots at him. Andres Guardado died at the scene.
Family and friends of the fallen 18-year-old contend that he was not armed when he was shot and accused the Sheriff’s Department of covering up the situation during a press conference on Friday afternoon.