By Emilie St. John
INGLEWOOD — Relatives of a man shot to death by Inglewood police officers Sept. 21 have announced they have filed a damage claim against the city, saying the shooting was unjustified.
Ivan Solis Mora, 34, was shot by police at his family’s home.
“We’re going to make sure that the city pays,” attorney Christian Contreras said on behalf of the family. “And we’ll do anything and everything to bring justice to this family.”
Officers were called to the home in the 10000 block of Grevillea Avenue, west of Hawthorne Boulevard, regarding a man brandishing a knife in the front yard, said Inglewood Police Lt. Scott Collins.
Upon their arrival, the officers found Mora, who they said was armed with a knife and behaving erratically. Mora’s family insists he wasn’t armed.
Authorities said Mora ran into the backyard, where there was an adjacent residence.
Officers say they attempted to de-escalate the situation, using less-than-lethal methods like pepper balls, tasers, and rubber impact rounds, all of which proved “ineffective.”
Police say at least one officer opened fire when Mora charged toward them.
“As a final resort to protect the officers and others from injury an officer-involved shooting occurred,” the police department said in a statement. A videographer on the scene reported Mora was shot eight times.
The family and friends of Mora staged a protest in the 100 block of La Brea Avenue Sept. 24 with about 50 people gathering around the corner from the Inglewood Police Station demanding justice.
The sister of the victim shared details of what happened with those who gathered.
“I heard the shots and the officers wouldn’t allow me to go outside,” she said. “I saw my brother dead on the ground. He laid there uncovered for 12 hours.”
The family alleges the police department knew of the victim’s history of mental illness having responded to previous calls for service at the home.
The city has not released the name of the officers involved in the shooting.
Cliff Smith, an activist with the Coalition for Community Control Over the Police, said witnesses questioned the propriety of the shooting.
“Witness in the neighborhood said that Ivan was shot in the back, that they saw no weapon, … that they heard no commands to drop anything or otherwise, that the police just shot him without provocation or cause,” Smith said.
City News Service contributed to this report.
Emilie St. John is a freelance journalist covering the areas of Carson, Compton, Inglewood and Willowbrook. Send tips to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.