Sheriff's Deputy Who Killed David Ordaz Jr., Charged with Felony - Adamson Ahdoot LLP

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Sheriff’s Deputy Who Killed David Ordaz Jr., Charged with Felony

November 14, 2022 María López Garcia

LASD Deputy Pineda was charged with fatally shooting Ordaz Jr., while the victim was in the middle of a mental breakdown

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Deputy Remin Pineda has been charged with unlawfully shooting David Ordaz Jr., last year. The officer faces felony charges of assault with a semi-automatic firearm and assault under the pretense of authority. According to the lawsuit filed by Adamson Ahdoot, the sheriff’s deputy who killed David Ordaz Jr. acted with excessive force and brutality.

The events occurred last March 14, 2021, outside his home, in East Los Angeles. The victim’s sister, Hilda Pedroza, called the authorities for help, as she feared that her brother would take his own life. Previously, Pedroza had reported that her brother had “suicidal tendencies.” During the 911 call, the young woman claimed that Ordaz had told her about “suicide at the hands of a police officer.”

Ordaz Jr., 34, was in the midst of a mental health crisis while holding a 12-inch cooking knife. Although the responders should have been aware of his condition, the four officers who attended the emergency appeared unfamiliar with the situation throughout the incident.

David Ordaz Was Shot 12 Times 

Although specialized personnel from the Psychological Analysis Team (MET) were on their way, the sheriff’s deputies decided to act on their own. When they arrived at the house, police confronted Ordaz Jr., while his parents and siblings watched the situation from a short distance. 

Videos recorded by witnesses present show Ordaz Jr. standing on the sidewalk, acting harmlessly. As seen in the police body camera video, the officers initially fired bean bags at him. 

However, when Ordaz Jr. reacted to these impacts and took a few steps, the cops fired back at him. Pineda, specifically, is the deputy who killed David Ordaz Jr. after shooting him 12 times. As evidenced in the images, the shooting mostly occurred when the victim is already on the ground, after having given himself up.

Pedroza has stated that if it were not for police brutality, her brother would still be alive. She claimed that his “head was still up, so he was still alive” until Pineda fired again.

David Ordaz’s Lawyers Consider it to be a “Murder”

Given the injustices that resulted in the tragedy, Ordaz Jr.’s family reached out to the attorneys at Adamson Ahdoot. In July 2021, they filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit. The family’s attorneys, Federico Sayre, Alan Ahdoot, and Christopher Adamson, have referred to the police actions as “murder.”

According to Adamson Ahdoot’s legal representatives, this loss has been a life-altering tragedy for the family. The prosecution has confirmed that they are not only seeking financial compensation for Ordaz Jr.’s wrongful death, but also want to deliver justice. In addition, the lawyers have explained that the complaint also claims damages for the family members who witnessed the shooting.

A day after filing the complaint, Sheriff Alex Villanueva shared a press release. Villanueva claimed to have “grave concerns” about the shooting of the deputy who killed David Ordaz Jr. He also confirmed that Remin Pineda “was relieved of duty and his peace officer powers have been suspended.”

While Ordaz Jr.’s family welcomes the prosecution of Pineda, they also want the rest of the officers to be charged with misconduct. 

Los Angeles County prosecutor charges a sheriff’s deputy who killed David Ordaz Jr., with unlawful firing.

George Gascón Charges Pineda with Unlawful Shooting

Following the investigation of the accident, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón filed assault charges against one of the sheriff’s deputies who killed David Ordaz Jr. Remin Pineda was charged with felony unlawful discharge. Pineda faces one count each of assault with a semi-automatic firearm and assault under the pretense of authority. 

The press release from the prosecutor’s office condemns the police brutality applied by the four officers. However, it especially accuses Pineda. “After Ordaz fell to the ground, had dropped the knife. He laid with his back facing the deputies,” the press release states. The note continues that, even then, “Pineda continued to fire his weapon.”

During the conference, Gascón spoke out against the abuse of police power. “Unlawful and excessive force at the hands of police erodes the public trust. It also leads to further divisions between law enforcement and the communities they serve,” he explained. In addition, the prosecutor lamented that Ordaz Jr.’s family was “present at this tragic murder.” 

When asked how many years Pineda was facing, no one from the DA’s office responded.

“This tragic killing of Mr. Ordaz in the presence of his own family has caused tremendous harm that will reverberate for years to come.”

Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón

Experts Claim Officers Did Not Act Correctly

The official videos clearly show that both the sheriff’s deputy who killed David Ordaz Jr. and the rest of the officers acted negligently. Although it is not known why the cops applied excessive force, many believe it was racial profiling.

However, a group of police experts has come up with the main failures that led to Ordaz Jr., death. In an interview with the LA Times, professionals with extensive experience in the field provided key facts that resulted in the tragedy.

  • “Even if Ordaz took a step toward the officers, it wasn’t that those officers were in immediate danger. He was not threatening or holding someone hostage. The knife was not near anyone either. He did not pose a threat.” – Jonathan Smith, former chief of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
  • “It would have been more appropriate for the officers to have designated a person trained in crisis intervention.” Gregory Gilbertson, a “use of force” expert at Centralia College.
  • “In such situations, police should attempt to establish a rapport with the individual to try to calm him down. In the shooting, several officers addressed Ordaz Jr., whose family member also shouted directions at him, creating more stimulation and confusion. ” – Vivian Lord, an expert on suicide-by-cop behavior and professor emeritus, University of North Carolina.
  • “The volley of shots went on longer than necessary. He was fully on the ground. The last shot has no justification at all. Police sometimes need to get less engaged to avoid a dangerous confrontation. Could the deputies have parked down the street and waited for the mental health team?” – Seth Stoughton, a former Florida police officer, and law professor at the University of South Carolina.
David Ordaz Jr., father of three.

Affected by Police Misconduct? Let us help you

Experiencing situations as frustrating as the one caused by Pineda, the deputy who killed David Ordaz Jr., brings suffering and pain to families. Living through racial discrimination or police brutality unjustly is an act that must be brought to justice. Although many victims are reluctant to come forward, it is important to report cases of police abuse.

At Adamson Ahdoot, we have extensive experience handling cases of police misconduct, such as the case of David Ordaz Jr. When you suffer devastating injuries or even death, it is important to have an experienced team fighting your case. Our attorneys, with more than 100 years of combined legal experience, excel at obtaining the highest financial settlements in California.

If you want to file your police negligence case, call us today at (800) 310-1606. Available 24/7, your first consultation is completely free and without obligation. We also speak Spanish.

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