Attorneys say officer shot Brendon Glenn twice in the back and delayed medical care; call for release of shooting video

By Gary Walker

Attorney V. James DeSimone addresses the media on Venice Beach beside an enlarged photo of Brendon Glenn and a page from Glenn’s autopsy report Photo by Jorge M. Vargas Jr.

Attorney V. James DeSimone addresses the media on Venice Beach beside an enlarged photo of Brendon Glenn and a page from Glenn’s autopsy report
Photo by Jorge M. Vargas Jr.

Standing a stone’s throw from where a police officer shot and killed an unarmed homeless man last year, attorneys representing the man’s mother and 3-year-old son announced Tuesday in Venice that the family has filed suit against the LAPD in state and federal court.

Brendon Glenn, 29, died after being shot by LAPD officer Clifford Proctor during a late-night confrontation on May 5 outside the Townhouse & Del Monte Speakeasy on Windward Avenue. An L.A. County Coroner’s autopsy report found that Glenn was shot twice in the lower back. LAPD Charlie Beck, who has called for criminal prosecution of Proctor, said an internal investigation found Glenn was facing the ground when he was shot.

The lawsuits filed on behalf of Glenn’s mother Sheryn Camprone and son Avery name the city, Beck, Proctor and the officer who was Proctor’s partner in claiming, among other rights violations, “unreasonable use of deadly force” and an “unconstitutional custom, practice or policy” of police violence against the public.

The federal suit claims Beck has failed to impose adequate discipline on officers, “creating a culture of impunity within the LAPD that encourages such violence.” It also states that the city “continues to hide from scrutiny by refusing to release the security camera videotape of the killing, despite persistent public demand. This lawsuit will require all defendants to answer for the killing of Brendon Glenn.”

With the Venice Boardwalk and LAPD’s Venice Beach substation as a backdrop, Marina del Rey attorney V. James DeSimone and his Venice co-counsel John Raphling told reporters that city officials denied a civil claim filed in September, which led the family to pursue legal action.

The attorneys displayed enlarged photos of Glenn and the coroner’s autopsy report.

“‘Just because the past didn’t turn out like you wanted doesn’t mean that your future can’t be better than you ever imagined.’ These were the last words of Brendon Glenn that he posted publicly on Google Plus,” DeSimone said during the press conference. “But Brendon Glenn will never know his future.”

DeSimone read a statement by Camprone, a resident of New York who did not attend the press conference, that she is “distraught, sad and devastated. I just keep hoping that Brendon will walk through that door. But it’s never going to happen. I wasn’t even there to hold and comfort my son. He was all alone with complete strangers.”

In the lawsuits, the attorneys allege that Proctor and his partner, officer Jonathan Kawahara, could have done more to save Glenn after he was shot.

“After being shot, Mr. Glenn was immobile, bleeding profusely and in obvious and critical need of emergency medical care and treatment. Defendants did not timely summon medical care or permit medical personnel to treat Mr. Glenn. The delay of medical care caused Mr. Glenn extreme physical and emotional pain and suffering and was, on information and belief, a contributing cause of Mr. Glenn’s death,” according to the lawsuits.

Both lawsuits ask for unspecified general, special and punitive damages, along with court costs and attorney fees.

Glenn’s death sparked outrage throughout Venice, prompting police and city leaders to call a public town hall meeting shortly after the shooting. Despite calls to release the tape during and since the meeting, the LAPD has yet to do so, saying it is under a protective order.

The announcement of the civil suit comes about a month after Beck recommended that the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office file criminal charges against Powell.

“We’re here today to call on the city of Los Angeles to right this wrong. It’s not enough for Chief Beck to come out and request that District Attorney [Jackie] Lacey do his job,” DeSimone said. “There must be accountability within
the LAPD.”

After the press conference, DeSimone said his team will be probing Proctor’s record for incidents of excessive force.

“We know that he has at least one prior complaint but that could be the tip of the iceberg,” DeSimone said. “We intend to pursue what that complaint was.”

One of the reasons for filing both a federal and state lawsuit, DeSimone said, is that state court judges are often reluctant to release information about police officers’ backgrounds.

DeSimone also plans to file a petition to force public release of the security video if the LAPD continues to claim that it is under a protective order.