Family, activists demand criminal charges against officer who fatally shot man in Gardena

Thursday, January 23, 2020
Family demands charges in fatal police shooting in Gardena
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Nearly two years after Kenneth Ross was killed in a police shooting, family members and activists are demanding action against the Gardena officer who fired his weapon.

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Nearly two years after a police shooting in Gardena, family members and activists are demanding action.

A demonstration was held outside the Hall of Justice in downtown Los Angeles as protesters called on the district attorney to file criminal charges against the Gardena police officer who shot and killed 25-year-old Kenneth Ross Jr.

Bodycam and dashcam video shows the moment Michael Robbins, the Gardena police officer who fatally shot Ross, fired his weapon as Ross ran from police across a park April 11, 2018.

Investigators said officers were originally responding to a shots fired call when they came across Ross running away. Police allege he failed to follow commands after he was ordered to stop several times. Ross died at the scene.

Investigators say officers did find a gun in Ross' pocket. Ross' family disputes that.

"They said he had a gun. We have the video of when he fell," said the family's attorney Haytham Faraj. "They then handcuff him to search him. They do search him. They find nothing."

Fouzia Almarou, Ross's mother, said she was at the demonstration to get justice for her son.

The family filed a civil rights lawsuit last year against Robbins. Gardena police say they can't say too much because the case is still in litigation.

"It's important for us to be transparent which is why we released the critical incident video. Although the incident is unfortunate, the case has already been disposed by the D.A.'s office," a statement from Garden police said in part.

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey also commented, offering condolences to the family and saying in a statement that reads in part, "The evidence in this case suggests that Mr. Ross may have been experiencing a mental health crisis when two bystanders saw him fire his weapon and attempt to flee from police. After an exhaustive review of the facts, my office determined that the officer acted lawfully in self-defense given that he believed Mr. Ross was an active shooter."