Family of man fatally shot by LAPD files wrongful-death lawsuit against L.A. and police officers
A man who was shot by Los Angeles police this month while running away from a shooting was a father of three, as well as a pastor and music producer who was once a member of a funk band, his family and attorneys say.
John Jay Williams, 43, was a pastor and music producer who was married and had three children, his family’s attorney, Stephen Jobe, told L.A. County Superior Court on Thursday.
At the time of his death, John Williams’ family said he was “a good man” who was “just trying to help” people.
“As a good and innocent-minded person who was not violent, his goal was to get help for those he could not help,” family attorney Stephen Jobe said.
But Williams’ shooting on May 26 put his life in danger and cost him his life, said Jobe, who told the judge he is suing the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, L.A. County and five officers — one of whom fatally shot Williams after he allegedly brandished a gun and pointed it at the officers.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said that video of the incident “will show how reckless these officers were. We will take all steps necessary to correct this mistake.”
The judge said he had seen all the evidence and was satisfied that Williams was shot after he brandished the gun before running towards police. He ordered the department to provide a more detailed report on whether the officers were justified in shooting Williams and whether they followed protocol in his shooting.
Jobe said in a statement that Williams, a “good person, Christian minister and father, had a very positive life” and had never been in trouble with the law before he was shot, adding: “He did not deserve to die in such a senseless way.”
Williams was a pastor, music producer and member of a funk band, according to his family. His family said a photo of him with his band members was on his Facebook page.
One of the officers, who is charged with murder, is former LAPD deputy chief John Garmback, who resigned amid the scandal over his use of force, a sheriff’s booking report said. At