LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Police Department and two of its officers are being sued for alleged civil rights violations by a man who alleges he was shot multiple times in the back by the officers for no justifiable reason, according to court papers obtained Thursday.
Adrian Aldaco, 29, was leaving a convenience store near his home in Boyle Heights on Jan. 28, 2022, at about 1:30 p.m. when officers attempted to contact him, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles federal court late Wednesday.
Aldaco turned and ran away from the marked LAPD patrol vehicle. At the same time, an air support unit was overhead and had a visual on the scene, the lawsuit alleges.
As Aldaco was running back to the store, LAPD officers Rudy Chavez and Gregory Papik — in plain clothes and in an unmarked vehicle — also attempted to contact him, according to the lawsuit.
Aldaco alleges that while he was running, he heard gunshots coming from his right rear side. Without warning, the lawsuit contends, officers Chavez and Papik discharged their firearms seven times.
The officers’ use of “deadly force struck Aldaco four times in the back,” according to the complaint, which alleges the two officers “failed to make a reasonable attempt to identify themselves as police officers.”
An LAPD representative said the department does not comment on pending litigation.
Aldaco survived but suffered “significant injuries including permanent internal organ damage and permanent nerve damage,” according to the lawsuit.
The suit alleges that Chavez and Papik “effectively ambushed Aldaco and shot him in the back without a legally justifiable reason.”
According to an LAPD incident report issued on Jan. 31, 2022, Hollenbeck Narcotics Enforcement Detail officers were in the area of Evergreen Avenue and Wabash Avenue when they observed a male armed with a firearm.
The officers called for Hollenbeck Patrol units to respond to the area. When patrol units arrived, the suspect ran from them, produced a firearm and the officer-involved shooting took place, police stated.
“The suspect was struck by gunfire, taken into custody and transported by fire department paramedics to a local hospital in stable condition,” according to LAPD. “The suspect’s loaded 9mm `ghost gun’ with 33- round magazine was recovered at scene.”
The lawsuit contends that Aldaco “was not an imminent threat” to the officers, nor was he resisting arrest or being non-compliant.
Before he was shot, Aldaco “did not have a firearm in his hands, let alone used a firearm in a threatening way,” the lawsuit alleges.
The complaint seeks compensatory damages for pain and suffering, and medical expenses.