A jury awarded a Canoga Park mother more than $23 million last Friday when they found that a pair of Los Angeles Police Department officers wrongly killed her son in a 2017 shooting near their home.
The federal jury found the two officers from LAPD’s Topanga Division used excessive force and were negligent in the killing of Jesse Murillo, a 32-year-old U.S. Navy veteran who was running away from them when they fired.
Murillo died after he was shot four times, including one round that struck him as he was diving to the ground, said Dale K. Galipo, the family’s attorney.
The verdict contradicted a Los Angeles Police Commission review of the case. Months after the shooting, the commission cleared both officers in Murillo’s killing, ruling that neither violated LAPD policy. Neither officer was disciplined except for undergoing a debrief on their tactics, according to commission records.
“There’s no accountability for these officers,” Galipo said Monday, Aug. 28 outside the U.S. Courthouse in Downtown L.A.
“They’re not prosecuted. They pay no money out of their own pocket. And the department, like they did in this case, ratifies the shooting, saying that was good, that was OK.”
The $23.8 million judgement awarded to Murillo’s mother, Tammy, is likely one of the largest in LAPD history for a single shooting case, Galipo said.
The jury deliberated for only four hours before they gave her the maximum possible amount they could: Court records showed they awarded Tammy Murillo alone $12 million for her son’s wrongful death. They also awarded Jesse Murillo $6.5 million for his pre-death pain and suffering and another $5.3 million for his death, all to be paid to his mother.
That amount nearly matched a massive settlement paid out by the California Highway Patrol earlier this year to the family of Edward Bronstein, a Burbank man who died when CHP officers dog-piled him at their Altadena station following a traffic stop. The CHP agreed to pay his family $24 million after a judge ordered video of stop to be released.