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Family of man shot by police speak out

September 8, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Relatives of a homeless man fatally shot by Inglewood police are speaking publicly about his death.For the last 10-12 years of his life, 56-year-old Eddie Felix Franco lived on the streets. At a news conference at Inglewood Police Headquarters on Monday, Franco's family insisted he was not homeless, but a man from the Coachella Valley who was battling alcoholism.

"When he was in the Valley, we knew where he was for the most part. Friends would tell us, family would tell us, somebody would see him ... 'Hey, I saw him over here.' And, we'd go over there. We'd see him there, pick him up, get him cleaned up or whatever. Just, something," said Paul Franco, the shooting victim's brother. "His choice was to be out there. We have asked him many times, 'Are you ready to get yourself together?' And he would say, you know, 'I'm not ready.'"

Franco was shot and killed by Inglewood Police just over a week ago.

Eyewitnesses and police say Franco was carrying what looked like a real gun in his waistband. When asked to put his hands up, Franco, according to police, reached for the gun. Police fired 47 shots. However, Franco's gun turned out to be a toy.

"I have no idea. Either which way, toy gun or not, it's excessive," said Eddie Franco Jr., the shooting victim's son.

Franco's family has obtained a Los Angeles area attorney to find out what happened.

Franco's shooting is the fourth deadly officer involved shooting in Inglewood in as many months.

The eight officers involved in Franco's shooting have been pulled from patrol duty until they have received supplemental training.

"When I say, we are doing everything we can and we are looking to bring in leading experts to assist us in the training endeavor, that's exactly what we're going to do," said Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks, Inglewood Police Department, last week.

On Monday, Chief Seabrooks said in a written statement, "it's responding aggressively to directives issued by the city council, calling for enhanced training for officers department wide."

A community activist says some may ask that Chief Seabrooks be put on administrative leave while the investigation goes forth.

There is word the Inglewood City Council will discuss the Franco shooting on Tuesday.

Services for Franco will be held in Coachella Valley on Friday.

 

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