Schizophrenic man dies in police custody in El Monte

EL MONTE, Calif.

Tuesday would have been Khoa Ahn Le's 37th birthday. Denise Le says her brother got into an argument with her father last Thursday night, so she called police. But she says the argument was over by the time police arrived.

"I thought police came just to talk to Quah," Denise Le said. "I really regret calling 911 for help. It turned out to be (the) murder of my brother.

The Le family says the two El Monte police officers who responded to the call began to attack Khoa Ahn Le. By the time officers got him to the driveway in handcuffs, his family says he was unconscious. He was transported to a local hospital, where he later died.

"One of the police was kicking my brother when he was on his knees already," Denise Le said.

The El Monte Police Department is not commenting on the incident and referring all questions to the sheriff's department, which has taken over the investigation.

The sheriff's department says Le fought with the officers and resisted arrest.

"Mr. Le continued fighting and one officer struck Mr. Le one time in the torso area with a flashlight. But Mr. Le continued to fight," said sheriff's Lt. Holly Francisco in a statement. "Another officer struck him three times with a baton in the torso, ankle and knee."

Francisco said officers used a Taser stun gun and a choke hold to subdue Le.

The L.A. County Coroner's Office conducted an autopsy on Le's body, but the results won't be released until toxicology tests are completed.

The sheriff's department is not releasing the names of the officers involved, but they say both were injured in the altercation.

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