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Thursday, 7 April 2016

Man Loses Almost Half of His Skull After Police Mistook His Water Bottle for Gun and Shot at Him (Photo)

Walter DeLeon 

Walter DeLeon, a 49-year-old man, has been left permanently disfigured and disabled after he was shot by police who mistook his water bottle for a gun.
He is now taking legal action against authorities.
Documents filed in court show that DeLeon lost 1lb of brain matter when police fired at him last June. Following the shooting, he spent two weeks in a coma, underwent nine surgeries, lost an eye, and lost hearing in his right ear.
ABC7 reports that the man was walking to a park nearby his house in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, when he approached a police cruiser. Although officers believed DeLeon was threatening them with a gun, he was actually carrying a water bottle and a towel.

LAPD Commander Andrew Smith told the media: "Our initial statement was that Mr DeLeon approached the police car in an aggressive manner with his hands, or hand, wrapped in a piece of cloth."
Witnesses say that police repeatedly shouted for DeLeon to “drop the gun", but he wasn't carrying a firearm.

The lawsuit, brought against the city, LAPD, Officer Cairo Palacios and several unnamed officers, states: "Officer Palacios shot Mr DeLeon for carrying a towel. "The conversation lasted mere seconds before Officer Palacios rushed out of the patrol car, drew his gun, and without warning or commands, immediately opened fire."

Witness statements attest to four gunshots being fired. Other injuries sustained by DeLeon include the loss of most brain functions and the loss of the ability to walk. He also says he is tormented by flashbacks.

In the video statement released by DeLeon's legal representatives Geragos and Geragos, DeLeon said: "This complaint gives me a voice for the people who are weak. "There are hundreds who did not make it, who are no longer living. So I'm here for that purpose, to be heard and to bring change to the law enforcement departments as to how they go about enforcing the law."

The suit asks for a fee to be set for general, special, punitive and exemplary damages as well as money for legal fees. After the shooting the officers handcuffed DeLeon on the grass, a scene which was filmed by a passing member of the public.

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