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Witness testifies that Compton teen killed by deputy was holding a phone, not a gun

February 26, 2011 | 11:32 am

A Compton teenager fatally shot in the back by a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy in 2009 was not holding a gun, according to the testimony of one eyewitness who sharply contradicted the sheriff's official account of the shooting.

A grainy video of 16-year-old Avery Cody's final moments shows the right-handed teen with an object in his left hand — which his family and friends have said was a cellphone, not the revolver that sheriff's deputies say they recovered at the scene.

Attorneys for Cody's parents, who are suing the county, said Friday's testimony in the lawsuit was the second significant inconsistency to arise in the case of the July 2009 shooting. The other was when Deputy Sergio Reyes' account of taking cover behind a metal newspaper rack was contradicted by a surveillance video obtained from a nearby doughnut shop, attorneys said.

Read the full story here.

-- Robert Faturechi and Joel Rubin