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$120-million claim filed by family of teen killed by police

April 16, 2012 |  4:07 pm

Abdul ArianAttorneys for the family of an unarmed 19-year-old man who was fatally shot by Los Angeles police have filed a $120-million claim Monday with the city of Los Angeles.

The teen was shot after he led officers on a high-speed freeway pursuit and called 911 to threaten them with a gun.

The Times reported that LAPD officers fired more than 90 rounds at Abdul Arian after he assumed a "shooting stance" and appeared to raise his arms and point a weapon while running backward on the 101 Freeway when the pursuit ended. LAPD officials said those actions led officers to open fire, killing him.

During the pursuit, Arian called 911 and threatened police: "I have a gun....I've been arrested before for possession of destructive devices; I'm not afraid of the cops."

He said he would use the gun if necessary.

In a press release, attorney Jeffrey M. Galen, who is representing the family with William Margolin, said that they filed the $120-million lawsuit -- "equivalent to one million dollars per bullet."

LAPD officials dispute that their eight officers fired 120 shots and said the number was far less. Law enforcement sources told The Times that more than 90 shots were fired. The police union that represents about 10,000 LAPD officers issued a statement saying that Arian's action "set into motion a regrettable series of events."

"When a person decides to engage officers in a pursuit, refuses police orders to end the threat they are posing to the safety of officers and the public, tells the police that they have a gun, exits a vehicle and takes an aggressive shooting stance, extends their arms out and points an unknown object at the officers, they are subjecting themselves to the consequences of their actions, which may include being shot," the statement added.


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-- Andrew Blankstein (Twitter.com/anblanx)

Photo: Family photo of Abdul Arian. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times