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California Briefing / INGLEWOOD

Mother files suit in police shooting

August 06, 2008|Joanna Lin

The mother of a U.S. Postal Service worker shot dead by city police last month has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city and police alleging that additional 911 calls suggest officers responded to the wrong address for a domestic disturbance.

The $50-million lawsuit is the second filed by Kevin Wicks' relatives. On Friday, the mother of his daughter announced she had filed a $25-million wrongful death claim -- precursor to a lawsuit -- in state court July 29 against the city of Inglewood and Inglewood police in connection with the July 21 shooting.

In the federal lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Donna Wicks alleges that "a number of 911 telephone calls reported a disturbance/dispute" at her son's apartment complex in the 100 block of North Hillcrest Boulevard. The calls made "reference to a male and two females, all of whom had been seen on the second floor in the middle unit," the suit alleges.

Nearly two weeks ago, the Inglewood Police Department released a transcript of a 911 call identifying Kevin Wicks' apartment as the scene of a domestic disturbance. But Tuesday, attorneys for Wicks' family said the caller made subsequent calls to correct the location of the disturbance and tell officers that the person involved was leaving the scene.

Police have said that there was only one call regarding a domestic disturbance at the apartment complex that night and that officers responded to the place specified in that call. Inglewood police officials said that Wicks, 38, raised a gun at officers when they arrived at his apartment and that Officer Brian Ragan then shot him.

Inglewood Police Sgt. Gabriela Garcia said in an e-mail that the allegations of additional phone calls "are part of one or more lawsuit(s) and the department does not comment on pending litigations. . . . At this point I can only tell you that our investigation into this incident is ongoing."

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