Body Camera Footage Shows Benjamin Pritchard Retreating Before Being Fatally Shot By Police In Calabasas Near The Sagebrush Cantina

CALABASAS, CALIFORNIA (December 4, 2023) – A suspect identified as Benjamin Pritchard has died in a Calabasas police shooting at a popular restaurant.

Los Angeles County officials are saying that the incident began on Friday in the streets of Woodland Hills and Calabasas. Police received reports about a man who allegedly attacked someone with a machete at the McDonald’s at Mullholland Drive by the 101 Freeway.

The suspect, who was later identified as Benjamin Pritchard, dropped the machete and was walking through a shopping center parking lot. Police followed the man with their vehicles before following him on foot by the Sagebrush Cantina.

Multiple officers can be seen pursuing the man as he retreated further into the parking lot. Body camera footage shows Benjamin Pritchard being both shot and tasered multiple times.

Paramedics were called to the scene in order to help the man. Sadly, he was later pronounced dead at the hospital. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.

 

Liability For Calabasas Police Shootings

Many people are killed or seriously injured every year in police shootings across Los Angeles County. According to the Los Angeles Times, “LAPD officers shot 27 people, killing seven, in all of 2020, and shot 26 people, killing 12, in 2019, The Times reported. Officers shot 33 people in 2018.” People with untreated mental illness are nearly 16 times more likely to be killed in police shootings. There are a number of steps that police departments should take in order to avoid killing mentally ill suspects.

  • Police officers should be well-trained in de-escalation techniques.
  • Police departments should have crisis intervention teams to handle certain encounters.
  • Police departments should create and enforce clear use-of-force policies.

All people in California have a right to live free from the excessive force of officers. Pursuant to 42 U.S. Code § 1983, every person who, under the color of any statute, law or ordinance, causes a citizen of the United States to be deprived of their rights secured by the constitution, shall be liable to the injured party in an action at law. There are a number of ways that a police officer may have used excessive force.

  • A police officer may have shot a suspect who was retreating.
  • A police officer may have shot a suspect who did not pose a danger to officers or the public.
  • A police officer may have failed to follow policies for dealing with mentally ill suspects.

Many police shootings are preventable. They are much more likely to occur when officers fail to follow department policies. This is why it is crucial that all evidence related to any shooting is properly evaluated. The family of any person that died in police custody may have legal recourse through a civil claim. A civil rights attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case free of cost and let you know if officers acted improperly in any encounter.

 

Investigating Calabasas Police Shootings

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Benjamin Pritchard. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened. This was a senseless tragedy that should have never taken place. Officers made the conscious decision to repeatedly shoot and kill a man as he was backing away from them.

Do you need more information about a Calabasas police shooting? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that people are aware of their rights and that police departments are held accountable for their illegal actions. In fact, we focus entirely on helping those who have been harmed by law enforcement. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.

 

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