Monday, 19 August 2013

Innocent couple go from being homeless to millionaires after being awarded $4.1m after they were mistakenly shot at 15 TIMES by police .

A homeless couple who were shot over 15 times by LA sheriff's deputies during a botched raid have been awarded $4.1 million in compensation.
Angel Mendez and his then-pregnant wife Jennifer were both shot when deputies - who did not have a search warrant for a wanted parole violator - burst into the wooden shack they were living in and opened fire in October, 2010.
Deputies claimed that Mendez reached for a BB gun and fifteen rounds were fired. Angel Mendez was hit 10 times and had his leg amputated while Jennifer was struck once and feared that she might lose her unborn child.

Compensation: Angel Mendez (left) and his wife Jennifer (right) were awarded $4.1 million after deputies in LA shot at them 15 times during a botched raid
Compensation: Angel Mendez (left) and his wife Jennifer (right) were awarded $4.1 million after deputies in LA shot at them 15 times during a botched raid
Compensation: Angel Mendez (left) and his wife Jennifer (right) were awarded $4.1 million after deputies in LA shot at them 15 times during a botched raid 
In gruesome video footage shot by police immediately after the shooting incident, Mendez can be heard pleading for his life and asking sheriff's deputies Christopher Conley and Jennifer Pederson why they had burst in firing their weapons.
Handing down his ruling, U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald awarded $3.8 million to Mendez and $222,000 to his wife for damages relating to Fourth Amendment violations by the deputies.
'If they would’ve announced, ‘Police, open the door’ I would have came out,' Angel Mendez, who lost his leg as a result from the bullet wounds, told NBC Los Angeles.
However, the deputies claim they began firing when Mendez reached for his BB gun and aimed it at them, while Mendez can be clearly heard disputing this fact in the aftermath of the shooting as emergency workers battled to save his life

'Oh, please, just don’t let me die, sir,' Mendez can be heard saying in the footage, which was obtained by NBC News.
Indeed, an officer is heard to ask why he aimed the gun.
'Why did you point the gun at my deputies?' the officer asks in the unsettling film.
'I didn’t, sir,' Angel Mendez responds. 'It was on my bed and I went to move it.'
A spokesperson for Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Steve Whitmore, said the Office of Independent Review found the shooting was justified and more to the point, the deputies acted in self-defense.
'The individual raised a weapon and pointed it at the deputies,' Whitmore said. 'They have to do what's necessary and in this case, they fired.'
Jennifer Mendez told LA Weekly that she was ecstatic that the judge had found in her and Angel Mendez's favor.
'I'm really happy,' said Jennifer Mendez after the ruling. 'Justice was served.'
The deputies had been looking for felony suspect Ronnie O’Dell, who was believed to be armed and dangerous. 
Sheriff's Department officials said they are considering making an appeal.

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