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Christian Portillo, 35

July 6, 2008 |  1:00 pm

Christian Portillo, 35, a Latino man, was shot to death by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy in the 11000 block of Dalerose Avenue in Lennox about 11:40 p.m. Wednesday, July 23.

Steve Whitmore, spokesman for the Sheriff's Department, told the L.A. Times that two deputies were on patrol when they saw a man sitting in his parked car. Whitmore said the deputies approached the man and said he was  "physically startled, agitated and reached under his seat." One of the deputies, fearing for his safety, fired his weapon, hitting Portillo in the upper torso, according to Whitmore. More on the deputy-involved shooting. Portillo was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said. No drugs or weapons were found in the vehicle, Whitmore said.

Los Angeles County public records show that Portillo was convicted of driving with a suspended license, and more than 15 years ago he was convicted on charges of vandalism and bringing drugs into a prison or jail. The office of Independent Review and the Sheriff's Department were investigating the shooting.

-ruben vives/LAT

The comments to this entry are closed.

Comments (15)

No gun on the deceased? Sorry, bad shooting, big lawsuit.

Even the police version of this sounds like an unjustified homicide--i.e., a murder--to me. Since when is reaching under a seat and behaving in an agitated manner grounds for execution? Apparently now law enforcement officers feel they don't need to see a weapon at all in order to use deadly force. We need wholesale examination of law enforcement deadly force policies and the of the way in which they are applied.

What do you guys who keep stickin up for the cops gotta say now? We not even gonna talk about the black guy who was un armed in San Bernadino and got shot and killed by their sherrifs....we in LA COUNTY ONLY.......when I was talking about watchin out for cops and gangbangers snatch dog and the crazy retired cop go off and say that the people like me who live and deal with both of these people and or both monsters everyday--i dont no what im talking about. I mean last night i was talkin to my friend and Long Beach police rolled by and shine the spot light in my face for NOTHING. This latino man is dead for nothing. WHAT DO YOU PEOPLE WHO ARE STICKING UP FOR THOSE MESSED UP POLICE AT NOW? what do have to say about this? This guy was not reaching for a gun. The police are nervous and scared...but some crazy guy will give a cop something to be scared about. and thats the sad honest truth. U cant keep killing unarmed black and latino men and get paid for it. its like you police are trying to keep the masses in check. but if its war youre looking for......keep it up........stop the kllling of us by your racist departments. I said WE GOT GANGBANGERS TO WORRY ABOUT AND COPS TO WORRY ABOUT I want to no the name of the cop who did this to that man. its not right. You guys throw your so called training out the window when you shoot for i said. you will make people pull a wepon out because they rather kill than be killed. its called survival. why are we giving welfare checks to the PO-LICE every two weeks so they can fund their wannbe union and the officers paycheck. my taxes should go to pay a guy to kill me a young black male in the target age range to get killed by a banger and a cop. These cops are a disgrace. I will never call the police for help or tell them anything to help them. at least i hope i dont.....

please tell me wtf did his record have to do with him being shot and killed by the sheriffs? only to show that he wasn't a choir boy, right? still no weapons or drugs found. smh.

This is hilarious. So once more the cops shoot an innocent man, for the second time in a week. And they found no weapons in the vehicle. But they posted the fact that he had a suspended license and 15 yrs ago he was sentenced for drug related charges. so what?
he got killed. my goodness.
LAPD is just asking for a riot.

are you kidding me? you are listing what this man did 15 years ago for what ... to justify murder? what a lousy bunch of pathetic liars!! no weapon was found so once more, the police "felt" threatened and took a life! creeps!!!

Another unjustified police shooting. what a shame

maybe these officers are in the wrong line of work.they startled the guy....which leads me to believe they did not shine that bright annoying light on him,they did not even mention those military drill sargent sounding commands they like to shout.remember a few years back a young lady startled out of her sleep and riddled with bulletswhile sleeping at a gas station.does the word BALCO ring in anyones ear.yep i said it some of these cops may be experiencing roid rage........

If our politician/inner city folks are as passionate about regular killings (instead of just ACCIDENTAL police shootings) maybe the streets of LA will be safer.

Calling these unfortunate shootings "murder" to incite the population is just idiotic and very irresponsible.

this is sad that cops are out there killing innocent people .these cops think they can do whatever they want they think there are above the law and there cop buddies are backing up there story ..this isnt the first innocent person they killed like the guy in the ramona gardens project who they said pointed a weapon but no weapon found or the older lady who's son's toy gun was in the back seat and she got killed or the young guy in hollywood who tried to break up a fight between a man and girl and the man happend to be a off duty marshall and killed the guy trying to be a good citizen .... the cops are just as bad there a legal gang !! dont you notice every week theres an officer involved shooting were they supposively scared for there life's but no weapons found... get a new job if your scared this is what you sign up for

i totally agree with everyone else in this case.
wtf his past record has got to do with anything him being killed?? I bet the cops did not know anything about his record when they pulled the trigger.
It freeks me out the facts that cops can do anything for the magic words excuse "fearing for his safety".

The police are killing more innocent people than the gang members. Now instead if watching our backs for thugs WE HAVE TO WATCH THE POLICE!!!!!!

May this INNOCENT man rest in peace!!!

I have never freared the police. Being a young latino male i know that if i am ever pulled over or in a car and police pull me over to put my hands on the steering wheel. Police are also scared of getting shot. I have never had an altrication with a cop because i know they carry guns we dont.

Being the girlfriend of a Deputy, I can understand why this Deputy decided to do this. Unless you're in their shoes, you will not understand the fear they have themselves when suspects hands are not visible. I don't like the fact that people, innocent or guilty have to die, but at the end of the night I want to make sure my boyfriend comes home and that he'll do whatever it takes to protect himself and his partners. I'm sure the Deputy isn't proud that he killed someone who was unarmed, but at the heat of the moment, he was unsure of what that suspect was going for.

Christian Portillo was a very dear friend to me. I am in total shock over his death and how it happened. First of all, the defamation of his character was unnecessary. He was made to look like a "bad person", when in fact he was a very beautiful man. He would help anyone if they needed it. He was funny, smart and a loving son, brother and friend. He will be missed very much....but never forgotten. As for the premature way this was handled by the police, I believe that "karma" will handle it. Because nothing will ever bring back my friend....We Love You Christian.


About the Reporters
The Homicide Report is compiled using information from the Los Angeles County coroner's office, local law enforcement agencies and the Los Angeles Times. It is written by Times staff writers.

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