Off-Duty Cop Shoots, Kills Unarmed, Mentally Disabled Man at Los Angeles Costco

Last week, 32-year-old Kenneth French was shopping at a Costco in Los Angeles with his parents. While waiting in a food sample line, French allegedly pushed an off-duty police officer. This lead to a rapid escalation after the officer drew and then fired his firearm several times, shooting French and his parents. French died and his parents were taken into intensive care.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department officer, Salvador Sanchez, the incident began when a verbal confrontation erupted between him and French while he was holding his child, before French shoved him. He claims he was acting in self-defense, however members of French’s family are questioning the details of the officer’s account and wondering why lethal force was used.

French’s cousin, Rick Shureih has since taken to social media stating (the Facebook post has since been made private) that French was nonverbal and had a learning disability that required him to be regularly monitored. Shurieh also says French was never known to be violent, describing him as a “gentle giant.” He believes that the officer’s use of lethal force was excessive and should lead to criminal charges.

The family’s attorney, Dale Galipo, says a review of store security footage shows French’s father stepping between French and Sanchez, trying to explain that his son had a mental disability before the shooting began. Galipo, who notes that French was unarmed, says Sanchez’s actions were “excessive and completely unjustified,” adding that he believes that the officer was acting out of anger for being shoved rather than out of fear for his life.

The account given by Sanchez claims that he was knocked unconscious before coming to and discharging his firearm. However, when he was taken to a nearby hospital he was quickly discharged after reportedly suffering minor injuries – a detail that is inconsistent with someone who suffered a concussion that would have prompted unconsciousness.

Police officials say that both internal and criminal investigations are currently underway, but that at the moment there are “more questions than answers.” However, it looks like this is a case of an individual quickly escalating a situation – that ended a life – over what may well have been a simple misunderstanding.

In many ways, this incident demonstrates two recurring tragedies Americans hear about, sadly, on an all too frequent basis: Individuals carrying guns in public and misusing them and law enforcement officers using extreme levels of force in situations that could and should be deescalated.

Despite the “polite society” theory – which claims that an armed society results in a more polite one – it is abundantly clear that easy access to lethal force at all times makes it all too easy to quickly lead to lives being taken needlessly. Combine this with individuals, like law enforcement officers, who are demonstrably prone to using disproportionate force, and it is hardly a surprise that incidents like this happen.

Take Action!

Officer Salvador Sanchez’s account of the events that lead to a deadly encounter in a Los Angeles Costco don’t quite add up. Why did he discharge his gun multiple times, ending one life and putting two others in critical? Why was Sanchez sent home from the hospital after being assessed with only minor injuries if he was knocked unconscious?

Kenneth French, his parents and the rest of his family deserve answers and they deserve justice. Please add your name to our Care2 petition to call on the Los Angeles Police Department to arrest Sanchez – as they would had this shooting involved anyone who was not an officer – and to file criminal charges for this completely unnecessary death!

Concerned about an issue? Want to raise awareness about an injustice? Join your fellow Care2 users by learning how to make your own petition and make your voice heard today!

 

Photo Credit: Rick Shureih via Facebook

28 comments

Alea C
Alea C5 hours ago

Back again for butterfly points.

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Alea C
Alea C5 hours ago

Back again for butterfly points.

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BobbyKat L
BobbyKat L5 hours ago

Thank you.

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Alea C
Alea C2 days ago

Care2 is still giving commenting points. (I said earlier that Care2 wasn't but I was wrong.

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Alea C
Alea C2 days ago

Care2 is still giving commenting points. (I said earlier that Care2 wasn't but I was wrong.

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Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan H2 days ago

thanks

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Shaz Reynolds
Shaz Reynolds3 days ago

Signed petition. Thank you.

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Alea C
Alea C4 days ago

Posting for butterfly credits.

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Alea C
Alea C4 days ago

Posting for butterfly credits.

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Alea C
Alea C5 days ago

Still no new causes I see. Very disappointing.

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