Compton employees have been found to be involved in the death of a cyclist last June at the intersection of Compton and Sloan. The man was identified as Jose Portillo who died after a car, allegedly traveling at a high rate of speed, hit him while he was in the marked crosswalk. The occupants of the car struck Portillo at 3:50pm, on June 20, 2019. The accident occurred near the home of one of the employees.
Portillo’s cause of death was listed as “blunt head trauma” by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner and his family is seeking unspecified damages from the city of Compton and other defendants.
The family has filed a lawsuit against Kimberly McKenzie, Director of Employment/Training Services at the Compton Careerlink, Tene Kishan, former council liaison to District 4 Councilwoman Emma Shariff and the city of Compton. The accident occurred in a personal vehicle.
According to city hall insiders, McKenzie faced no disciplinary action as a result of the accident, which occurred during work hours. Witnesses state the passenger in the car fled the scene while they administered aid to the victim.
“My sister and my 8 year old daughter witnessed this accident first hand and it was very traumatic to her,” said Brenda Vega Cruz. “She stood and rendered aid to Mr. Portillo until emergency crews arrived. We even went to St. Francis to check on him.”
“The passenger in the car fled the scene running,” explained Cruz.
2UrbanGirls reached out to Councilwoman Emma Sharif who had no comment on the incident but we were successful in reaching a city administrator on the matter.
“I can not comment on personnel matters,” said City Manager Craig Cornwell when asked if McKenzie was disciplined. Compton employees share she is still at work.
The City retained the legal services of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP which filed an Answer, raising, as one of more than forty affirmative defenses to the Complaint, that Mr. Portillo may have contributed to his own death by failing to exercise reasonable care in the operation of his person and/or bicycle, thereby barring his heirs from recovering damages from the City.
The trial is set to begin in August 2021.
Tene Kishan has been dismissed from the lawsuit by the plaintiffs attorneys.