California Department of Justice Investigating Fatal El Sereno CHP Shooting

29September 2021

A person was fatally shot by California Highway Patrol officers in the El Sereno area of Los Angeles on Tuesday. Now, California Attorney General Rob Bonta has announced that the California Department of Justice is investigating the shooting, under Assembly Bill 1506.

The shooting occurred at about 3:30 p.m. in the area of Medford and North Indiana streets, near the USC Keck School of Medicine, according to the CHP. Officers were responding to a vehicle collision, Bonta’s office said in a statement.

The person’s identity was not immediately released by the CHP, but attorneys representing the family of Leonel Chavez came forward on Wednesday to hold a press conference with those family members, including Chavez’s mother, about the incident.

“Leonel Chavez was unarmed and unjustifiably shot and killed by CHP officers,” the attorney statement said.

Details on what led up to the shooting were unclear, but no officers were injured.

AB 1506 requires the California DOJ to “investigate and review for potential criminal liability an officer-involved shooting,” particularly when the shooting results “in the death of an unarmed civillian,” according to the California Attorney General’s website.

The CHP notified the California DOJ after the incident, and the California Police Shooting Investigation Team for Southern California deployed to the scene of the shooting.

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Bonta’s office is now investigating the incident “alongside other law enforcement partners,” the statement said. “Once the investigation has been completed, it will be turned over to the California Department of Justice’s Special Prosecutions Section within the Criminal Law Division for independent review.”

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