A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) deputy is facing two felony counts for continue to fire on a suicidal man who had already been shot by police and was lying on the ground, District Attorney George Gascón announced Thursday.

Remin Pineda, who also happened to turn 38 on Thursday, stands charged with assault with a semiautomatic firearm and assault under color of authority for the on-duty shooting death of 34-year-old David Ordaz Jr. last year.

The case prompted national headlines, as well as a federal civil rights lawsuit by the Ordaz family, which accused Pineda and three other deputies of using “unnecessary and lethal force to unjustifiably kill” the father of three on March 14, 2021.

His family said Ordaz, who had been in trouble with the police before, had mental health issues and wanted to commit “suicide by cop” that day. One of Ordaz’s sisters called 911 to ask for help, telling the dispatcher that Ordaz was saying he wanted to die, and requested guidance on “what I can do to help [him].”

When deputies arrived, they found Ordaz sitting in a car outside the family home, reportedly under the influence of methamphetamine. The officers ordered Ordaz out of the vehicle, and he emerged holding a 12-inch kitchen knife “while telling the deputies to shoot him,” according to an incident summary the LASD released following Ordaz’s death.

David Ordaz.

“Deputies requested additional Sheriff’s personnel to respond, specifically personnel equipped with less lethal weapons and a Mental Evaluation Team (MET),” the summary stated. “Members of the MET were responding but had not arrived at the time of the shooting. While continuing to speak with Ordaz and ordering him to drop the knife, Ordaz moved closer to deputies, and stun bag rounds were fired at Ordaz.”

Bodycam video shows Ordaz stepping back and turning after being hit with the non-lethal rounds, but when he appeared to quickly turn back toward the deputies, they opened fire. The officers shot him “multiple times,” according to Gascón’s office, immobilizing Ordaz, who was holding his shoulder.

“After Ordaz fell to the ground, had dropped the knife and laid with his back facing the deputies, Pineda is accused of continuing to fire his handgun,” Gascón’s statement says. (The Ordaz family’s lawsuit claims the “killing shot” punctured Ordaz’s chest.)

Ordaz was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Sheriff Alex Villaneuva later said he had “grave concerns” over the shooting, and Pineda was suspended.

Former police officer and University of South Carolina law professor Seth Stoughton told the Los Angeles Times last August that the incident indeed appeared excessive.

“He was fully on the ground,” Stoughton said. “The last shot has no justification at all.”

The other three officers, who have not been charged with any crime, were identified by authorities as Deputy Edwin Navarrete, Deputy Jaime Romero, and Deputy Nathaniel Trujillo.

Ordaz, who is an amateur boxer, goes by the nicknames “Rembo” and “Pinoy Power” in the ring, according to a 2017 interview he gave to an organization that sanctions fights between police officers, firefighters, and other first responders. Ordaz said he was an ex-Marine, enjoyed riding his 2011 Honda Shadow motorcycle and eating carne asada “super fries,” and named Dumb & Dumber as his favorite movie.

“Unlawful and excessive force at the hands of police erodes the public trust and leads to further divisions between law enforcement and the communities they serve,” Gascón said in Thursday’s announcement, adding that the case remains under investigation. “It is imperative that we hold law enforcement accountable when they act unlawfully. This tragic killing of Mr. Ordaz in the presence of his own family has caused tremendous harm that will reverberate for years to come.”

Ordaz, who does not have a lawyer listed in court records, was unable to be reached for comment on Thursday. His arraignment has not yet been scheduled.

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Los Angeles Deputy Charged With Shooting Suicidal Man Already on the Ground

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10.11.2022

A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) deputy is facing two felony counts for continue to fire on a suicidal man who had already been shot by police and was lying on the ground, District Attorney George Gascón announced Thursday.

Remin Pineda, who also happened to turn 38 on Thursday, stands charged with assault with a semiautomatic firearm and assault under color of authority for the on-duty shooting death of 34-year-old David Ordaz Jr. last year.

The case prompted national headlines, as well as a federal civil rights lawsuit by the Ordaz family, which accused Pineda and three other deputies of using “unnecessary and lethal force to unjustifiably kill” the father of three on March 14, 2021.

His family said Ordaz, who had been in trouble with the police before, had mental health issues and wanted to commit “suicide by cop” that day. One of Ordaz’s sisters called 911 to ask for help, telling the dispatcher that Ordaz was saying he wanted to die, and requested guidance on “what I can do to help........

© The Daily Beast


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