April 09, 2015


City News Service 



An attorney for a 15-year-old boy who was mistakenly shot by police in South Los Angeles after one of his companions was spotted with a replica handgun an officer thought was authentic filed a $20 million claim against the city this week. Attorney John Harris said police showed “callous disregard” for 15-year-old Jamar Nicholson, who was shot in the back around 7:45 a.m. Feb. 10 near Crenshaw Boulevard and Florence Avenue. The officer was one of a group of criminal gang homicide officers in civilian clothes conducting an investigation in the area. Police said one officer called out to the youth carrying the replica weapon and ordered him to put it down, and when he didn’t, an officer fired, striking Jamar in the upper back.


Los Angeles Police Department officials declined to comment on the claim, which is a precursor to a lawsuit. In February, LAPD officials blamed the shooting on the existence of realistic replica weapons. In the days following the shooting, LAPD officials held a news conference, displaying realistic-looking replica weapons and urging parents to prevent their children from carrying such toys.


After the shooting, Jamar told the Los Angeles Times he knew his friend was carrying a replica gun but had no idea whether his friend was pointing it in his direction. He said the boys were walking their normal route to school, when he heard someone yell, “Freeze!” Seconds later, he was shot. The Times identified the officer who fired the shot as Miguel Gutierrez, who  has been with the department since 2002.

Category: News