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Jury Awards $750K To Son Of Unarmed Man Fatally Shot By LAPD In Front Of Pregnant Fiancée

Crime tape (Photo by Shi Yali via Shutterstock)
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A jury has decided that the LAPD used excessive force when it fatally shot an unarmed man in Koreatown.

A jury in a civil case awarded $750,000 to the 4-year-old son of Dontaze Storey Jr., who had not been born at the time of the shooting, according to the Los Angeles Times. The 29-year-old Storey was gunned down by LAPD Officer Daniel Bunch at the corner of 3rd Street and New Hampshire in November 2008 in full view of his pregnant fiancée Estaze Yankey.

Bunch and a second LAPD officer Oliver Malabuya responded to a call of a man who was armed with a gun. Storey ran from police, and they shot him several times. Bunch fired six times, and Malabuya fired three times. (Malabuya was acquitted in this case.) Storey was rushed to a hospital after the shooting where he died of a fatal shot through the back of his neck through his lungs and heart. He turned out to be armed only with a silver cell phone. An LAPD civilian oversight panel found that the shooting was within department policies.

Kokayi Kwa Jitahidi, a friend of Storey's, told Koreatown LA News that Yankey had gone to a drugstore to get a prescription refilled. While she waited, a man began harassing her and Storey stepped in. The two tussled before the drugstore manager told them to take it outside. Police were called to the scene. Yankey called to check in with Storey when she saw helicopters and police swarming the area—that's why he had his phone in his hand at the time.

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Witnesses say that Storey was running to catch up with Yankey. Police say that they were trying to detain him when he ran away, and they feared he would shoot them.

An attorney for Storey's child Dale Galipo told the Times, "Mr. Storey was unarmed, and his only crime was running away from the police."

A reader who identified herself as Estaze Storey Jr. wrote in Storey's entry on the Times' Homicide Report:

my husband was a god fearin man who took to his duties well and was loved by all. Those who knew him loved him and those who didn't respected him. He is well remembered in our hearts and souls and will never die, he is also still celabrated by us. He will be 31 this year, and his son whom carrys his name will know whom he is and will also carry on his legacy as a good GOD ferin man.