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LA To Pay $3.9M To Settle Suit In Deputies’ Fatal Shooting Of Ryan Twyman

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A memorial is set up at the site of Ryan Twyman's fatal shooting at the South Bay Villa apartments. (Emily Elena Dugdale/LAist)
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Los Angeles County has agreed to pay $3.9 million to settle a wrongful death suit filed by the family of Ryan Twyman, who was shot to death by two sheriff’s deputies as he backed up his car in a Willowbrook parking lot in June 2019.

The Board of Supervisors approved the settlement at today’s meeting.

The shooting was captured on video by two surveillance cameras, and after watching it, Twyman’s father Charles Twyman said, "I'm of the clear ... opinion that my son was murdered."

The video shows two deputies going up to a parked white Kia Forte. "Mr. Twyman accelerated the vehicle in reverse as Mr. Twyman turned in a counter clockwise direction toward the deputy on the passenger side," Sheriff’s Commander April Tardy said in a video released by the department.

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One deputy was struck "with the open rear passenger door and pushed into the center of the parking lot," Tardy said, adding the deputy was trying to maintain his balance and "avoid being run over."

The deputies started shooting, ultimately firing about 34 rounds into the car. Twyman was unarmed.

The case is still under investigation. It’s one of several that L.A. County District Attorney-elect George Gascón has expressed “concerns” about. In a September open letter, he said the deputies "were able to get out of the path of the vehicle as it was reversing," and that in any case, department policy states that "the moving vehicle itself shall not presumptively constitute a threat that justifies the use of deadly force."

The sheriff's department and the LAPD changed their policies in 2005, instructing officers to refrain from shooting at moving vehicles in virtually all circumstances. The LAPD's policy went a step further, explicitly prohibiting shooting at a moving car unless another weapon was present. In 2016, the sheriff's department adopted that policy.

READ UP ON TWYMAN AND DEADLY FORCE POLICIES:

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