Aspiring Actor and Homeless Los Angeles Resident Jesse Dominguez Died In Police Shooting On The 105 Freeway Near Watts Not Far From Sober Living Facility

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (November 21, 2023) – A 34-year-old man identified as Jesse Dominguez has tragically died in a Los Angeles police shooting on the 105 Freeway.

Los Angeles County officials are saying that the incident took place around 3:15 p.m. on Sunday. California Highway Patrol officers got reports about a man walking along Interstate 105.

A CHP officer approached the man who was later identified as Jesse Dominguez. Following a brief confrontation, the CHP officer engaged in a struggle with the man before shooting him multiple times at close range.

Paramedics were called to the scene in order to help the victim. But he was later pronounced dead.

Family members said that Jesse Dominguez was homeless though they offered him living accommodations. He struggled with mental health issues and was determined to make it as an actor in Los Angeles.

A full investigation into the police shooting remains ongoing at this time.

 

Liability For Los Angeles County Police Shootings

California has one of the highest instances of police shootings. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, around 195 people each year are killed following police encounters. Suspects with untreated mental illness are nearly 16 times more likely to die in police shootings than members of the general public. There are many steps that police officers should take if they encounter a suspect they believe may be mentally ill. Among other things, officers should:

  • Call for backup.
  • Do their best to calm the situation.
  • Avoid any type of physical contact with the suspect.
  • Determine if the suspect is taking any medications.
  • Acknowledge how the suspect is feeling.
  • Refrain from making any threats.

Police officers have a great deal of leeway when it comes to how they execute their job duties. But at no point is an officer permitted to use excessive force. 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. When  a police officer injures or kills a suspect through excessive force, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim.

A police department could also be liable for a fatal shooting under the state’s negligence law if the officer involved failed to follow police protocols for dealing with mentally ill suspects. Under California law, an officer’s pre-shooting decisions can render their use-of-force unreasonable under the totality of the circumstances, even if the officer’s actions appeared reasonable when viewed in isolation. Among other things, officers should avoid making physical contact with suspects they believe may be mentally ill.

Consider, for example, Tabares v. City of Huntington Beach. A police officer approached Dillan Tabares who was suffering from a mental illness. The man continued to indicate that he did not want to speak with the officer. However, the officer involved continued to try to make contact even though it would have been obvious Dillan was mentally unwell. A brief altercation occurred and Dillan was shot seven times before dying due to his injuries. His family eventually reached a settlement with the city of Huntington Beach. It is important that evidence is properly preserved after any police shooting.

  • Body camera footage from all officers involved should be sought.
  • Medical records related to the shooting should be reviewed.
  • The officer’s actions leading up to the shooting should be understood.
  • Surveillance footage from nearby businesses or traffic cameras should be examined.

There is typically no one cause that leads to a police shooting. However, police shootings are much more likely to occur when officer’s are poorly trained. They are also more likely to occur when officers are by themselves. It is very important that officers seek backup in difficult situations. Ideally, mentally ill suspects should be met with crisis intervention teams. The family of any person that died in a police shooting may have legal recourse through a civil claim.

 

Investigating Los Angeles County Police Shootings

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Jesse Dominguez. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what went wrong. This young man needed help and compassion. Instead, he was met with lethal force by a CHP officer. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to prevent other tragedies like this.

Do you need more information about a Los Angeles County police shooting? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to help in any way that we can. We focus entirely on holding law enforcement accountable for their unconstitutional actions. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any incident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.

 

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