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Mother of Man Slain by Former Officer Files Civil Rights Suit

Official Business

November 26, 1996

The mother of a man killed by a former Los Angeles police officer filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Monday, alleging that her son was shot because he was black and was dating the ex-officer's daughter.

The suit, filed by attorney Stephen Yagman, alleges that Charles Gilbertson, who is white, killed Jemall Slaughter because he believed the former Fontana High School basketball star was "defiling his daughter."

Gilbertson, his wife, his daughter's ex-boyfriend, the cities of Los Angeles and Ontario and San Bernardino County are named as defendants. Sentencing is pending for Gilbertson, who was convicted of manslaughter Oct. 17.

The daughter's ex-boyfriend told Gilbertson and his wife that their daughter was at Slaughter's Rancho Cucamonga apartment, according to the lawsuit. The three drove to the apartment and at some point called the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, the suit said.

Deputies were unable to find the daughter and left the scene, the suit said. It charges that deputies knew Gilbertson would kill Slaughter if he was found with Gilbertson's daughter, but left the family at the scene anyway.

Yagman said Gilbertson returned to the apartment, saw his daughter was in the apartment and then shot Slaughter.

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