The Inglewood City Council on Tuesday rejected a claim filed by the family of a teen-ager who died in police custody outside a Grateful Dead concert at the Forum last December, setting the stage for a lawsuit against the city.
The claim alleged that Patrick Shanahan, 19, of Fountain Valley died because of excessive force by police officers who struck him with their batons, applied a chokehold and did not start emergency first aid when he stopped breathing.
Inglewood police have maintained that officers did not use excessive force. They said Shanahan was violent and under the influence of drugs when police arrested him outside the Forum on Dec. 10. Police took Shanahan to a nearby hospital after he stopped breathing.
City officials said the denial was routine for a claim that contained such difficult legal issues. Lawrence Trygstad, the Shanahan attorney, said he would file a wrongful-death lawsuit on behalf of the family.