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$2.2 Million for Man Shot, Paralyzed by L.A. County Sheriff's Deputies

Los Angeles Times via YellowBrix

August 05, 2010

LOS ANGELES – A $2.2-million settlement was approved Tuesday for a man shot and paralyzed by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies last year in Compton.

Deputies were on a routine patrol after midnight May 24 when they noticed Daniel Martinez and another man acting suspiciously, according to county records.

Believing Martinez was a lookout in a potential robbery, the deputies got out of their car and approached him. When they ordered him to show his hands, he ran, according to records.

While chasing him, the deputies thought they saw Martinez reach into his back pocket. One thought he was reaching for a gun and fired, according to records.

No gun was found on the scene, just a brown wallet, officials said.

“When you have a settlement like this, nobody is going to leave the table happy,” said Martinez’s attorney, Brian Dunn. “But the county has taken a step in the right direction at the minimum ensuring this kid is going to have the medical treatment he needs.”

Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said the incident highlights the challenges of split-second decisions for deputies.

“This just reminds us that when law enforcement tells you to do something, to do it immediately,” Whitmore said. “This situation is a tragic situation.”

At least one deputy was disciplined after the shooting, he said.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, which oversees the sheriff’s department, approved the settlement.


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