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Tuesday, June 18, 2024 | Back issues
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Family Claims Racist LA Deputies Killed Dad

LOS ANGELES (CN) - Los Angeles County sheriff deputies Tasered and beat a black man to death, his wife and children claim in court.

Parents of the late Darren Burley sued Los Angeles in Superior Court, battery, wrongful death, discrimination, civil rights violations and negligence.

Burley was 30 when he died on Aug. 15 last year, 12 days after being beaten into unconsciousness by unidentified deputies, his family says.

Burley's sons and his wife, Rhandi Thomas, of Georgia, are the plaintiffs.

"During the evening hours on or about Aug. 3, 2012, at or near the 1300 block of East Glencoe St. Compton, Calif. 90211, Darren was walking down the street when he was stopped by several unknown members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept.," the complaint states. "After being stopped, the deputies threatened to hit, Taser, and strike Mr. Burley with impact weapons, and did in fact hit, Taser, and strike Darren with impact weapons about his head and body."

His family claims Burley "did nothing to justify this use of deadly force against him," and was no threat to the officers or anyone else.

"None of the deputy defendants who battered, Tasered, and struck Mr. Burley was African American. Consequently, in choosing to exercise severe and malicious force against him, each of the defendants discriminated against him on account of his race," the complaint states.

Though he clearly required immediate medical attention, the deputies did not immediately call for help, the family claims.

"This delay in seeking medical assistance demonstrated a conscious disregard for Darren's medical condition, and was a contributing factor in his falling into a coma and eventual death," the complaint states.

The family filed an official complaint against the county in October, which the county rejected on Nov. 26.

The family seeks a jury trial, punitive damages, medical, funeral and burial costs, and civil penalties.

They are represented by Carl Douglas of Beverly Hills, who could not immediately be reached for an interview.

Last year, a family accused Los Angeles Sheriff's deputies of killing Darrell Logan Jr., claiming he was unarmed when deputies shot him 11 times - five times in the back.

Logan's family did not explicitly tie his death to racist officers, but cited the neo-Nazi cop gang the Vikings, its offshoot the Regulators, and other cop gangs .

In a December 2011 complaint, Francisco Carrillo Jr., who spent 20 years in prison for a drive-by killing he did not commit, claimed he was framed by a branch of the Vikings cop gang, known as the "Lynwood Vikings."

Los Angeles Sheriff Department spokesman Steve Whitmore declined to comment.

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