Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) deputies harassed families of police shooting victims, according to a report by the National Lawyers Guild and the American Civil Liberties Union.
The activist groups released a report on May 4, alleging that LASD deputies frequently harassed the families of Anthony Vargas and Paul Rea, who were shot dead by police officers in separate incidents.
In the 37-page report, the Vargas family listed 17 incidents between August 2018 to March 2021 while the Rea family listed 10 incidents between June 2019 and September 2020.
Both Latino families alleged that LASD deputies frequently parked in front of their homes and workplaces and took photos and videos of them.
Both families also alleged that the deputies repeatedly pulled relatives over, searched their vehicles, and detained them without probable cause.
The Rea family further alleged that officers showed up in cars to a 2019 vigil and mocked family and friends.
“Since my son’s death, we have been terrorized. Every day, we’re watching our backs,” Leah Garcia, Rea’s mother, told news website The Guardian.
“We are scared because we know what their capabilities are,” Garcia further said.
LASD Deputy Trina Schrader told media company Insider in an e-mailed statement that the department was “unfamiliar with the report.”
“Once we have had an opportunity to review the content, we will be better able to respond to your request,” Schrader stated.
LASD deputies shot Vargas 13 times in the back when he was on his way home in August 2018.
In June 2019, LASD deputies fatally shot Rea during a traffic stop.
The report came the same day the LA County Board of Supervisors approved a motion that called for an investigation into incidents of harassment from law enforcement officers.
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