A seven-year veteran officer of the Los Angeles Police Department, on Monday, was arrested for shooting a mentally ill man who was shopping with his parents in 2019.
Officer Salvador Sanchez who was off duty at the time of the shooting was with his 1-year-old son when he was knocked to the ground by 32-year-old Kenneth French. Sanchez quickly opened fire, fatally wounding French and critically injuring their parents, Russell and Paola French.
According to French's family lawyer, Kenneth French was non-verbal and had earlier been taken off his medication for mental illness due to other health issues.
After the incident, California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed manslaughter charges against Sanchez. The charges came after the Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin declined to charge Sanchez criminally after a grand jury did not bring an indictment in September 2019.
According to Hestrin, Sanchez thought that he had been shot in the head by French and that the shooter was on the loose in the store after he and his 1-year-old son were knocked to the ground.
Sanchez claims that the French had a gun and that he was afraid that his life and his son's life were at immediate risk. However, authorities disputed his claim saying, French was unarmed and was budging away from Sanchez when the officer shot him.
The Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners in 2019 said that Sanchez had violated departmental policy in the shooting.
It was quite unclear if Sanchez has or hired an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
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