FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The family of a man shot and killed by Fresno Police earlier this year has filed a lawsuit against the city, two officers involved, and Chief Paco Balderrama for damages and wrongful death.
More than 2 months after 29-year-old Roberto Corchado Jr. was shot and killed by police, his parents are suing.
On March 4th, police say Corchado refused to pull over near Shaw Avenue and Highway 41.
Officers say they rammed his car after he started driving recklessly.
Fresno police declined to comment as the Department of Justice's investigation into the shooting continues.
However, in a video press release released a month after the shooting, Bill Dooley with the police department narrated what the police claim happened next.
"The sounds of shots fired by Mr. Corchado before officers exit their patrol car has been highlighted," said Dooley.
Police photos show a bullet in an officer's vest.
In the body camera video, Corchado is seen running toward a Camaro not involved in the incident.
Officers say they commanded him to stop and when he didn't, they opened fire on him.
The Corchado family's lawyers said that's not what happened and that Corchado was unarmed when police shot him.
"Mr. Corchado was facing away from the offices and had his hands up at the time that he was shot," said Kevin Little, the family's attorney. "That makes this a clearly illegal shooting."
Authorities said they later discovered he left his handgun near his vehicle and found a 22-caliber rifle in his car.
Attorney Tony Capozzi said both sides have solid cases.
"A red Camaro on the side of the road an innocent person just stopped there was that person in danger? If the police believe that that person was they had every right to do what they did," said Capozzi. "If he is running away, and didn't have any gun, their back is toward the police, and his hands are up in the air. It seems like he's defenseless."
The family is also calling into question police policy.
"We have repeat shooters who haven't undergone training," said Little.
Corchado's family says one of the officers involved, Officer Bryce Hammond, was involved in a prior deadly shooting.
The Fresno Bee reported Officer Hammond was involved in that shooting in June of last year.
"A lot will depend on whether or not he was found to be negligent or abusing his policies and customs of the police department," said Capozzi.
The family's lawyers say more officers could potentially be named in the suit.
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