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Parents of slain deputy plan to sue LA County


Claim excessive work hours, shifts

The parents of a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy who was shot and killed in Palmdale plan to sue the county, accusing the sheriff’s department and county officials of knowingly endangering the lives of law enforcement members by forcing deputies to work excessive hours and shifts.

Michael and Kim Clinkunbroomer filed a government claim Monday and allege mandatory overtime hours caused Ryan Clinkunbroomer to become too fatigued and unable to defend himself, NBC4 reported.

“Disregarding the safety of his troops, Sheriff Luna continues to force his deputies to work mind-numbing overtime resulting in Ryan’s death and the likely death of other deputies,” the claim states.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department did not immediately respond to questions about the lawsuit but released a statement from Sheriff Robert Luna.

“The senseless ambush murder of Deputy Ryan Clinkunbroomer was the epitome of evil and the Department continues to mourn his death,” the statement said.

Clinkunbroomer, a 30-year-old, third-generation deputy, was shot Sept. 16 while sitting in his patrol car at a traffic light near the station at Sierra Highway and East Avenue Q.

Video from the scene showed a dark-colored sedan pulling up behind the patrol SUV, then slowly pulling alongside the driver’s side of the deputy’s vehicle, pausing, then driving away.

Sheriff’s officials said a good Samaritan stopped to render aid after the shooting and the wounded deputy was taken to Antelope Valley Medical Center in grave condition. He was pronounced dead that night.

Kevin Cataneo Salazar, 29, pleaded not guilty to a single charge of murder at an initial court appearance. Jail records show he is being held with no bail and is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing in January.

Sheriff’s deputies in tactical gear and armored vehicles–working off tips from the public–descended on Salazar’s family home on Sept. 18, initiating a standoff that finally ended when Special Enforcement Bureau personnel flushed him out with “chemical agents,” Luna said at a news conference.

Luna said “numerous firearms” were also recovered following the arrest, and that deputies seized a dark-colored sedan that was believed to be linked to the killing.

Luna said Clinkunbroomer was ``murdered, ambushed by a coward.”

But Salazar’s mother and sister told reporters he is mentally ill.

“My brother, he’s getting called a coward,” Salazar’s sister, Jessica, told reporters Monday. “He wasn’t in his right state of mind.”

“I do want you guys to know that my brother did have schizophrenia,” she said. ``He has paranoia. He heard voices. We’re not justifying, we don’t know if he did (the shooting), if he did not. We are not justifying anything. We feel for the family. It hurts.”

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón and Luna declined to delve into any specifics of the case, saying they did not want to jeopardize the prosecution. There has been no indication of a possible motive for the killing.