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Family of Fatally Shot Teen Sues L.A. for $120M

April 17, 2012  | 

Screenshot: CBS News
Screenshot: CBS News

The family of 19-year-old Abdul Arian, who was shot and killed by Los Angeles Police last week, filed a claim on Monday seeking $120 million—or $1 million for each bullet they say LAPD officers fired at the young man, reports the Los Angeles Daily News.

The claim, filed by parents Ahmad and Deena Arian against the city of Los Angeles, said their son was "brutally and unlawfully shot to death" by eight officers who fired approximately 120 rounds of ammunition at the unarmed teen.

Arian was fatally shot April 11, after leading officers on a high-speed pursuit and swerving into the middle of the Hollywood (101) Freeway in Woodland Hills. After exiting his vehicle, Arian made menacing gestures toward officers, who fired at Arian.

"It is unfortunate that our society has come to the place where a lawful command from an officer goes ignored," said Tyler Izen, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League (LAPPL), in a statement. "When a person decides to engage officers in a pursuit, refuses police orders to end the threat they are posing to the safety of officers and the public, tells the police that they have a gun, exits a vehicle and takes an aggressive shooting stance, extends their arms out and points an unknown object at the officers, they are subjecting themselves to the consequences of their actions, which may include being shot."

The family claims Arian was pleading with 911 dispatchers for officers not to shoot him. The LAPD has said 911 tapes reveal that Arian told a 911 dispatcher that he was not afraid of cops and would "pull my gun out on them."

Related:

Protests of LAPD Freeway Shooting (video)

Teen Shot by LAPD Was Dropped From Explorer Program

LAPD Pursuit Ends In Gunfire

Tags: LAPD, Lawsuits, Deadly Force


Comments (41)

Displaying 1 - 41 of 41

cwjjohn @ 4/17/2012 5:40 PM

Sounds like another suicide by cop.

Gmdoll @ 4/17/2012 6:21 PM

Its sad that family can not just grieve but they must try and profit from there child's mental meltdown. The video from the media is pretty clear, he wasn't going to give up.

Lee @ 4/17/2012 6:33 PM

It was a good shoot. It is sad that the family is looking for financial gain out of their sons death, who in all honesty brought this upon himself. The officers reacted the way they are trained. He posed a threat, and they stopped that threat for the safety of everyone around them and themselves. His family needs to accept this...

maxumusa @ 4/17/2012 6:48 PM

Raise a brat, and get a chance to win $120M from the gov't. Crazy

Tom Ret @ 4/17/2012 6:59 PM

The cops did not force Abdul to lead them on a high speed chase, and what followed. The cops are responsible for their actions but so is Abdul which the parents apparently don't understand. The law suit should be dismissed.

Lt. R. Tester @ 4/17/2012 8:01 PM

Where were the dogs? A dog could have ended this without a shot fired. Every other patrol unit should have a dog. I do.

Highway Guy @ 4/17/2012 9:26 PM

8 officers shot 120 bullets into unarmed person? Besides all actions of that man, this is extreme. Those LAPD officers must go under deep and thorough investigation for such misconduct! I read some comments here, and seems like there no comments from LEO yet. Anybody???

Samryan @ 4/17/2012 9:26 PM

You sound just like a LT, Monday morning quarter backing a good shoot. How about you back the officer in what was obviously a justified shooting instead of trying bring in other issues: "well why didn't this happen?" because LT it didn't happen, that's why.

Tschako @ 4/17/2012 10:43 PM

I'm getting so tired of these "suicide by cops" No one considers the impact on the officers who get suckered into shooting. The department should be suing the family instead. Welcome to America, Arian family, the only country where the whole bunch of you can profit from your son's intentional suicide. I hope you get laughed out of court and your bloodsucking lawyer goes with you.

walter @ 4/18/2012 1:10 AM

There are cell phone guns......once one Cop shoots its hard to tell if its coming or going....so you instinctively shoot too. Sympathetic gun fire...

walter @ 4/18/2012 1:10 AM

There are cell phone guns......once one Cop shoots its hard to tell if its coming or going....so you instinctively shoot too. Sympathetic gun fire...

POPO @ 4/18/2012 3:39 AM

If you were a real Lt you wouldnt make comments like that. I feel sorry for officers under your supervision. Clearly a justified shooting,

Tim @ 4/18/2012 3:55 AM

It's always fun to read the comments here. Where's the dog? I'm sure the officers are asking the same question. Dogs cost money to buy and train. Then pool of funds is not endless. Then again sending a dog into a gunfight usually results in a dead dog. Shot 120 times? I believe the claim was 120 shots fired during his pseudo gun battle. I don't think this guy would have remained standing if even 1 tenth of those rounds hit him. It's pretty dumb to tell the 911 operator you have a gun and then hold your cellphone in a combat grip in the dark in front of a bunch of armed police officers. And then to continue said action even as officers fire their first shots at you. Tragic? Yes. Avoidable? Certainly had Abdul chosen not to make the officers feel their lives were threatened.

Trigger @ 4/18/2012 4:51 AM

I wonder if juniors body has even cooled off yet?? Let's see, 8 officers, 120 rounds, one dead idiot. Maybe the 8 officers should have walked up to junior and began a counseling session on the road, broke out the cookies and hot chocolate milk and let him vent his world problems just before he puts a bullet into each of the officers heads. How many more dead officers are we going to have if they have to second guess their activities. With over 30 years in law enforcement it still amazes me the arm chair quarterbacking that goes on from the public and those wearing the badge. Unless you have got your boots dirty don't start pointing fingers and second guessing until all of the facts are in.

ricwalters @ 4/18/2012 4:54 AM

It's game show time in LA. Knucklehead plays Final Jeopardy, loses, and his family thinks they're in the Bonus Round on Wheel of Fortune. Maybe the officers involved in stopping this loser should sue his parents for being incompetent!

Trigger @ 4/18/2012 4:56 AM

ricwalters good point!!

cdrcrash @ 4/18/2012 5:33 AM

RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN ACTIONS!!!
There must have been a reason to initiate the stop.
Man up and take your citation, if necessary fight it in court.
If you have outstanding warrants, well to bad your caught and the citizens win.
Stop the car, shut off the engine, roll down the window, hold both hand outside the window palms up. no problem

Exit the vehicle after a high speed chase,and either a PIT or TC and take an aggressive posture you will FAIL.

The lawyer that files this type of suit is well below the bottom feeders of the world.

obiwan @ 4/18/2012 5:49 AM

Why don't the people of L.A. sue the Arian family $1 million for every mile per hour over the speed limit that their son decided to drive, endangering the motoring public! What a litigious society we live in where somebody else is always at fault or responsible! There needs to be tort reform so RIDICULOUS suits like this are never brought forth!

Donut_plz @ 4/18/2012 6:16 AM

15rds a piece. Thats one mag each. I can see officers shooting until the suspect goes down. They could be wearing body armor.

Its obvious the parents have no clue about what their kid really did. They just want money.

Its unfortunate that scum sucking lawyers know the city will settle out of court for a much smaller amount rather than pay the expense of a trial, to be found innocent.

I wish every city would fight these suits and then have the courts force the loser to pay ALL expenses. That would stop most of these frivolous suits.

Steve @ 4/18/2012 6:19 AM

Amen Tschako, folks ever think about how thugs families get to sue for millions and a murdered cop's family gets a pittance from his/her retirement and a flag. I'm sorry for this family's loss, but where were they when their son was starting down this road of self-destruction? No doubt doing their own thing and hoping society would raise their child for them!!!

AJ @ 4/18/2012 6:22 AM

Lt. R. Tester: I can't tell if your seriours or not but most departments do need more canines. I don't think it's practical for everyone to have one but I don't know a single PD or SO that has enough.

S.S. JR @ 4/18/2012 6:26 AM

Well he got what he deserved. He asked for it. The family are just a bunch of leaches and don't deserve a penny. Just by reading the articles it's a justified shoot. These officers get to go home to their families.Thats all that matters at the end of your shift.

tmruphy44 @ 4/18/2012 6:48 AM

Lt. ARE YOU KIDDING?!!! A dog in every other car? You are fortunate to have a dog. This kids life wouldn't be worth the life of your dog, if in fact he had a gun AND SHOT YOUR DOG! Watch the video again LT. and think about what you said. You just brought morale down for every PO that watched this video. LA better not settle with this family, it makes the coppers appear as if they did something wrong. NICE JOB OFFICERS.

TBOW426 @ 4/18/2012 8:16 AM

I have guys in my Department that can put 15 rounds in a target at 7 yards in three (3) seconds or less. I am 55 yoa and can do it in less than four. That is in target with semi auto rifle and handgun (no misses) 120 rounds sounds like a lot until you realize it can be over in mere seconds.

Al @ 4/18/2012 8:26 AM

A dog might have been nice but not all departments have dogs or they might not be available. The suspect forced the officer's hands. It doesn't matter how many officers fired their weapons. People want to second guess these officers and most time their daily decisions amount to what am I going to have for lunch.

ron martinelli @ 4/18/2012 10:45 AM

As a forensic criminologist and police practices expert who specializes in OIS and SBC type cases I feel for the officers involved in this tragic shooting; their families; and for all of you who have expressed supportive comments to the involved officers.

I also feel in part for the family of the young man who was shot by LAPD because they suffered a loss and presently are uninformed on the dynamics of suicide and why some people manipulate the police and choreograph their "death act." Unfortunately, in today's society some people are more inclined to point the finger of blame at others instead of accepting ownership of their actions or those of a loved one. While the shooting is tragic, perhaps a more tragic occurence is the attorney in this case filing a wrongful death tort against the LAPD and the involved officers.

There are number of reasons why people commit suicide but ultimately the main reason is a cessation of pain and suffering. While some people chose to kill themselves, others are unable to do so for religious, insurance, or guilt reasons; or because they do not have the fortitude to kill themselvfes; or because they want to strike out at police and place guilt upon them.

Classic to any "Suicide by Cop" (SBC) incident are evidence of communicative, psychological and behavioral presentations displayed by the decedent (shot) subject. A "psychological autopsy" of the subject will most always show that the subject had psychological/emotional problems and was severely depressed prior to the incident. An in-depth forensic investigation of the behavioral patterns of the SBC intent subject (like in this case) will most likely show evidence of severe depression and suicidal ideations (thinking of suicide, mentioning suicide, or behaviors consistent with impending suicide such as giving things away).

The SBC intent subject knows that they have to manipulate the police in order to guarantee a "certainty of lethality" whi

ron martinelli @ 4/18/2012 10:46 AM

Therefore, they will communicate verbally and ultimately by physical behavior such as agressive "armed" gestures that they intend to harm officers by deadly force. In their mind and often in reality police will respond in kind by using deadly force. The more officers are present, the more bullets will be fired at him/her and the better the odds are that the SBC subject will accomplish their death act.

Most often the SBC intent subject will choreograph their death act by taking actions that they know will "emotionally capture" the officers and then make acute (sudden) aggressive, armed or feigned armed gestures in close proximity to the officers which will likely cause the officers to fire upon them. If video evidence is available (as in the immediate case) there will be clear evidence of this plan.

One important component for the SBC intent subject is to have their intended "audience" present just before they initiate their final death act. This is especially the case where the SBC subject wants to inflict emotional pain through guilt upon their audience.

They are in effect saying to their audience, "Look at what you have made me do. This is YOUR fault that I am (now) dead." This is why police need to be very careful to avoid bringing family members or a significant other in close proximity of the SBC subject in any negotiation. Obviously, if the police are the intended audience this cannot be helped, but this is quite rare. The SBC intent subject knows that the presence of media (news helicopters, news vans, reporters etc.) will bring his/her actions right into the livingroom of the audience repeatedly and will further ensure an emotional "guilt trip" for months and perhaps years to come.

ron martinelli @ 4/18/2012 10:49 AM

Most often the SBC intent subject will choreograph their death act by taking actions that they know will "emotionally capture" the officers and then make acute (sudden) aggressive, armed or feigned armed gestures in close proximity to the officers which will likely cause the officers to fire upon them. If video evidence is available (as in the immediate case) there will be clear evidence of this plan.

One important component for the SBC intent subject is to have their intended "audience" present just before they initiate their final death act. This is especially the case where the SBC subject wants to inflict emotional pain through guilt upon their audience.

They are in effect saying to their audience, "Look at what you have made me do. This is YOUR fault that I am (now) dead." This is why police need to be very careful to avoid bringing family members or a significant other in close proximity of the SBC subject in any negotiation. Obviously, if the police are the intended audience this cannot be helped, but this is quite rare. The SBC intent subject knows that the presence of media (news helicopters, news vans, reporters etc.) will bring his/her actions right into the livingroom of the audience repeatedly and will further ensure an emotional "guilt trip" for months and perhaps years to come.

Officers and dispatchers need to receive specialized training in how to respond to SBC type incidents to mitigate risk. However, even with specialized training it all boils down to the "totality of the circumstances" that the officer(s) experience in any fluidly evolving situation. Time and distances are always the enemy of the field officer(s) encountering and responding to the SBC intent subject.

ron martinelli @ 4/18/2012 10:49 AM

Uninformed "wouda-shoulda-coulda" media pundits, so called "experts", attorneys and naive citizens who watch too much TV exacerbate negative dialog in these types of OIS investigations. It would be best for them to keep their mouths shut and take time to study this unique facet of suicideology before opining on circumstances as tragic as this.

BTW, the number of rounds fired at this SBC subject (which seems to have generated a lot of negative comments by the uninformed) may not necessarily be an important factor in this OIS considering how many times he is seen to acutely "engage" the officers while holding a cell phone in a two-handed combat grip while in a shooting stance. One needs to keep in mind that 66% of all OIS occur at night in limited lighting and that while officers can hit the 9-10 ring 90% of the time in non-stress induced range qualification; they actually hit a a stationary or moving target only 14% of the time in distances of only 2 to 10 feet. Officers are never trained to "shoot to kill". They are trained to fire center mass of any target that is presented to to fire to stop the threat. Officers do not shoot to wound and they are never trained to shoot objects out of people's hands. Again that's the "CSI effect" of countless TV programs.

I am confident that ultimately the truth will come out in this OIS/SBC investigation and I hope that my comments have been helpful.

Dr. Ron Martinelli

Martinelli & Associates, Justice & Forensic Consultants, Inc.

Steve @ 4/18/2012 11:06 AM

Highway Guy, It's uninformed citizens like you who have caused what went on that night. It's apparent you haven't held the position of an LE Officer!!!, I have and I have a Son who is, trust me when I tell you that young man asked for everything he got, he was a former Police Explorer he knew exactly what would happen.Highway Guy,do some research and see how many Officers have been either killed or hurt seriously when only firing once,as far as all three goes,you aren't suppose to know what the other is or has done, you need to protect yourself,other Officers and then the public.Lt.Tester,I'm guessing a dog wasn't available,if you want an investigation it should be why there aren't more dogs not why all three Officers shot an IDIOT.

CO Cop @ 4/18/2012 11:15 AM

Hey Highway Guy, are you assuming that the family that wants $120 mil will accurately state what happened? For 8 officers, that 15 rounds each, sounds like their attorney just did the math for 8 officers on scene emptying their mags (assuming each had an auto with 15 round mags)

Kat @ 4/18/2012 11:25 AM

You PLAY, you PAY!!!! GREED outlives GRIEF!!!!

Mike @ 4/18/2012 1:36 PM

I also am a Lieutenant with a very large city in Upsate NY. Lt Testor, how could you possibly second guess the officers with you having almost no knowledge of the incident other than the news. Ever heard of Graham vs Connor? probably not. Also you mean to tell me that you would support the use of K9 against a deadly threat? I'm surprised you did not suggest the Taser or Bean bag rounds. (neither of which are an acceptable response to a deadly threat or what appears to be a deadly threat in most conditions.

Obviously you were never a firearms or DT instructor.

Seriously! I am glad you were not my boss.

RB @ 4/18/2012 5:20 PM

I hope that they do not get a dime! Nothing against them but this clown deserved to get shot! LE agencies need to start sending a message that they are not going to pay out every time its officers does their jobs. Actually, the LAPD should sue the family for the resources that they had to provide for the pursuit and subsequent investigation.....

RetMarE7 @ 4/19/2012 2:12 AM

Hey Lt. R. Tester, are you serious? I hope that was tongue in cheek humor. First, EVERY unit should carry a K-9? Has the cost of that proposal ever crossed your mind? Secondly, would you really just take cover behind your unit while you send your K-9 into what appeared to be certain suspect gunfire? (No one KNEW he was unarmed until after the suspect was killed) Because if you just wait for your dog to handle the incident for you (where do you work anyway?), you will have to seek cover and do nothing more. The chances of an officer, and certainly the K-9, not to mention innocent nearby civilians, receiving lethal gunfire is great...far too great to just sit around behind your unit, waiting for your dog to do your job? You can't possibly be a sworn law enforcement officer. You sound like the, "Shoot the gun out of his hand" crowd. Holy cow!!

JimA @ 4/20/2012 6:36 AM

I say the only way to stop these useless claims is to counter sue. Sue the (dead) suspect and sue the parents for the mental anguish, negative publicity, time, and materials of the police. Sue for 10 times what the other party asks for. Their shallow pockets will soon dry up - and shut up. Not to say that suits against the police are always without merit, but this is rediculous. I got sued when a woman hit me in the face and I used a hair hold on her to walk her to my patrol car. Bleeding heart liberal jurors!
JimA

Larry @ 4/20/2012 12:15 PM

The guy got what he wanted!!!! Now the officers have to deal with the situation that they had a take a life, then deal with the internal investigation and testify in the law-suit to defend themselves.
Lt. R. Tester people don't want to pay for police officers let alone for dogs.
Highway guy, they will go through an investigation like you can never imagine. I am glad that there are professionals out there that know what these officers had to go through and do and will be able to defend them with facts. What if he did have a gun? I sure thought he had one.

Chuck Binkerd @ 4/22/2012 4:06 PM

The city will probably settle out of court instead of going to trial because have a history of being weak in defending LAPD in shootings.

Trigger @ 4/25/2012 12:27 PM

Dr. Ron you made great points regarding the incident and the need for training. We in the profession have to deal with many outside influences that judge our every move. Hollywood has not done us just, the number of citizens who believe that the one hour police programs are Bible truths. Don Johnson on Miami Vice had a perfect job, shoot forty people per show and never answer to anyone and never do a report and no citizen ever questioned what he did. I still think that "Barney Miller" had it right.

G. L. @ 5/7/2012 11:03 AM

I'm a cop and I understand the officers action. I would shoot to if i was in a high speed chase and the driver get out and his act like he got a gun. On the 911 tape Arian said he would pull his gun out on the officers. .... No wrong doing on the officer part.

JF @ 1/1/2013 11:30 AM

We need a law where the attorney of record who files AND LOSES a frivolous lawsuit such as this must surrender his/her law license for no less than 5 years AND must pay ALL fees and expenses incurred by the parties being sued.

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