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Mother of shooting victim files suit against LAPD


Son alleged victim of ‘contagious fire’

The mother of a Black man shot to death by Los Angeles police in Wilmington in 2022 is suing the city, alleging her son was the victim of “contagious fire” by officers acting in accordance with their aggressive colleagues.

Deana Dodd, whose son was 31-year-old Reginald Humphrey, brought the suit in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging civil rights violations, negligence, assault and battery and false imprisonment. She seeks funeral expenses as well as past and future medical costs in the suit brought on July 11.

“This lawsuit concerns the outrageous, careless and unlawful use of deadly force by city police officers as well as their malicious effort to distort the true facts of their own misconduct,” the suit states. “Moreover, this case raises questions concerning the questionable training and use of force by the officers that directly led to Mr. Humphrey’s death.”

According to the suit, Humphrey was walking near the intersection of Opp Street and Ronan Avenue at about 9:55 a.m. July 5, 2022, when Harbor Division LAPD officers gave him verbal commands that he obeyed, but he was still shot with a beanbag weapon without provocation.

“After Mr. Humphrey allegedly drops whatever is in his hands, each of the (officers) draw their weapons and shoot Mr. Humphrey multiple times,” according to the suit, which further states that a delay in getting Humphrey medical care contributed to his eventual death.

Humphrey was “merely walking on a public sidewalk” and was not a threat to anyone, but the officers “unlawfully opened fire on Mr. Humphrey, merely following the aggressive actions of their fellow (officers), but without any independent legal cause to use deadly force,” the suit states.

The multiple bullets used suggest the shooting occurred because of “contagious fire,” meaning several of the officers fired their weapons merely because their colleagues did so and not due to their independent assessment of the need to use deadly force, the suit states.

Dodd believes that none of the officers who shot her son was Black like him, according to the suit, which additionally states that the plaintiff has been under the care of medical doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists.