WASHINGTON, D.C. — Attorneys for Andrés Guardado’s family shared the main findings of an independent autopsy on Wednesday, revealing that Guardado was shot in the back five times before his death at the hands of LA County Sheriff deputies.
Lawyers for Guardado’s family also told Latino Rebels that a preliminary toxicology report shows Guardado didn’t have any drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of his death.
Eighteen-year-old Guardado was shot and killed last month outside the auto body shop where he worked as a security guard. Just before 6:00 p.m. on June 18, LA County deputies say they saw Guardado flash a gun and run between two buildings. Multiple deputies pursued and shot at him.
Guardado was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the LA County Sheriff’s department’s statement released the next day. The incident is still under investigation.
An earlier autopsy performed by the LA County Medical Examiner’s Office has not yet been released, after being blocked by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD).
“We’ve been requesting, demanding and now imploring the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to release that autopsy report to the family so they could have some answers,” Nicholas Yoka, a lawyer for Guardado’s family told Latino Rebels. The family’s lawyers said they had not yet received a response to their requests.
At a Compton City Council meeting last week, LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva faced questions about his department’s lack of transparency concerning the investigation into Guardado’s death.
LASD has not released a public written statement on the investigation into Guardado’s death since June 19. A call Latino Rebels made to LASD on Wednesday morning did not result in any new response.
Protests have been held for Guardado in the weeks since his death, as well as other wrongful deaths of Latinos.
Guardado’s case, along with that of Carlos Ingram López, whose death in police custody led to the resignation of the Tucson police chief, and the case of Vanessa Guillén, a Fort Hood soldier who was found murdered, have brought a wave of anger from Latinos, who see these as young lives needlessly lost.
The issue of police violence against Latinos has been raised in the past, but it has resurfaced once again in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement and protests after George Floyd’s death. Latinos make up more than 15 percent of police killings in the U.S., higher than any non-white group after African-Americans.
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In addition to working as a security guard, Guardado’s family said he worked a second job and was studying at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College.
Dr. Bennet Omalu, who performed the independent autopsy on Guardado, is the doctor who first identified chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in American football players.
Ana Lucía Murillo is a journalist based in Washington, D.C. and the 2020 summer correspondent for Latino Rebels. She tweets from @analuciamur.