Thursday, June 25, 2020

Lawsuit for Shooting Death of Vanessa Marquez

Below is a press release from the law offices of of Vicki I. Sarmiento; Schonbrun Seplow Harris Hoffman & Zeldes LLP; and the Law Office of Dale K. Galipo regarding the filing of a wrongful death action over the shooting death of my dearest Vanessa Marquez on August 30 2018. While the action was filed yesterday, I had known about it for sometime beforehand, from both Vanessa's mother Delia and her lawyer Vicki Sarmiento. As mentioned in the press release, friends and supporters of Vanessa gathered at South Pasadena City Hall to announce the filing. A protest, organized by London Lang, was also held by South Pasadena Youth for Police Reform. I only wish that I could have been there.

I must say that I am very happy that a wrongful death action has been taken on behalf of Vanessa's mother Delia. I know the past 20 months have been difficult for her. I know for myself that losing Vanessa has been made all the more worse by the fact that there has been no justice for her. I do not believe for a moment that the Los Angeles County District Attorney Office's report on  Vanessa's death was fair, unbiased, or truthful. I honestly believe that the City of South Pasadena, the South Pasadena Police Department, and the police officers present in her apartment on that day showed depraved indifference to Vanessa's life and used excessive force in killing her. Since the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office was derelict in their duty to see that Vanessa received justice, then perhaps she can receive justice in the civil courts.

Anyway, below is the press release.



The Law Offices of Vicki I. Sarmiento; Schonbrun Seplow Harris Hoffman & Zeldes LLP; and the Law Office of Dale K. Galipo announce the filing of a wrongful death action over the killing of Vanessa Marquez by South Pasadena police officers in August 2018. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Ms. Marquez’ mother Delia McElfresh this morning in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Ms. Marquez achieved fame as an actress in the popular 1988 movie Stand and Deliver. Ms. Marquez was living in South Pasadena when a friend asked paramedics to check on her. The paramedics brought South Pasadena police officers who disregarded the paramedic’s decision that Ms. Marquez had a right to refuse to be taken to thehospital and instead created a confrontation that led to her unnecessary death.

“This is exactly the kind of lethal and unnecessary police action,” said Vicki Sarmiento, one of the lawyers in the case, “that has led so many in the country to call out for police reform”. This was a situation in which Ms. Marquez was in her home minding her own business and instead of receiving assistance from medical professionals she was shot to death.”

Ms. McElfresh was hesitant in initiating litigation and had hoped that police officers who killed her daughter would be held accountable. However, seeing that this will not happen she is filing suit against the police because her daughter deserves justice and her day in court. This is a time when the killing of innocent people by police officers must be investigated fully and the officers held accountable.

Supporters of Ms. Marquez, including actor Richard Montoya and members of the cast of Stand and Deliver, Patrick Baca, Will Gotay, Ingrid Oliu and Daniel Villarreal will gather on the grounds of the South Pasadena City Hall at 2PM on Wednesday June 24th.

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