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Legal Features

County of Los Angeles v. Mendez: The Rutherford Institute's amicus brief

The Rutherford Institute is urging the United States Supreme Court to hold police liable for recklessly firing 15 times into a backyard shack in which a homeless couple—Angel and Jennifer Mendez—was sheltering. Angel Mendez suffered numerous gunshot wounds, one of which required the amputation of his right leg below the knee, and his wife Jennifer was shot in the back. Los Angeles County police officers claim the use of excessive force against the homeless couple was justified as a defensive action, because Angel’s silhouette was allegedly seen holding a BB gun that he used for shooting rats.

In filing an amicus brief in County of Los Angeles v. Mendez, Rutherford Institute attorneys argue that the shooting, which was entirely unjustified and unwarranted, would not have happened had Los Angeles County police officers not first created an untenable, dangerous situation by invading private property without a warrant in pursuit of an alleged parole violator.