Family to hold peaceful protest over LAPD’s use of force in man’s death

LOS ANGELES, CALIF., June 10, 2021 – The family of Daniel Rivera, who died of cardiac arrest after being tased, hogtied, and left in a prone position by police last summer, will rally outside LAPD headquarters in a peaceful protest Friday morning.

“The family of Daniel Rivera demands justice! When police officers violate the law by tasing an incapacitated man and killing him, the consequences should be forceful and swift,” said V. James DeSimone, the family attorney. “Additionally, the family requests the District Attorney George Gascon investigate Daniel Rivera’s death and file criminal charges against the involved officers, which are clearly warranted here.”

Family members, including the mother and son of Daniel Rivera, and DeSimone, a Los Angeles civil rights attorney, are set to speak at the protest, which starts 11 a.m. Friday, June 11, at 100 W. 1st St., in downtown Los Angeles.

Rivera, 37, was pronounced dead on Aug. 14, 2020, by paramedics about a half hour after police responded to a call that a man was trying to enter homes in an Arleta neighborhood. When police arrived, Rivera climbed over a fence and moments later was observed lying face down in a nearby ravine.

Four LAPD officers followed over the fence and observed Rivera lying motionless. As they approached, Rivera further surrendered and placed his hands behind his head. Despite Rivera’s obvious distress and lack of any resistance, the LAPD officers jumped on top of him, with one applying his full body weight by kneeling on his back, while two others handcuffed him. Meanwhile, a fourth officer repeatedly tased him, according to a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by his family in April.

The Taser’s electric shocks caused Rivera’s body to convulse and tense up, according to the lawsuit. Police body camera video also shows an officer grab the back of Rivera’s neck and shove his face into the ground.

Bodycam video show Rivera call out for help, saying he did not hurt anyone, as an officer pins him down so his legs can be tied tightly with a hobble device.

“The LAPD officers continued to push on Rivera’s back while he was face-down on his stomach, and did nothing to help him as Rivera’s body convulsed in medical distress,” DeSimone said. “The LAPD officers kept the unresisting Rivera pushed down in a prone position — which is known to interfere with breathing — after he was handcuffed and hobbled.”

“Daniel was surrendering and posed no threat,” DeSimone said. “There was no reason to torture him and then casually stand by as an incapacitated man lay dying at their feet.”

#saytheirnamesla, a volunteer group centered on families who have lost loved ones to law enforcement in L.A., will provide its support for the family at the protest. #saytheirnamesla also demands Gascon fulfill his duties as district attorney and follow through on promises to hold killer cops accountable.

Rivera’s family is seeking compensation from the City of Los Angeles over the wrongful death and loss of their beloved father and son. Named in the lawsuit are the City of Los Angeles and the involved LAPD officers, whose identities have not been released.

 Family photos of Daniel Rivera, bodycam video, the lawsuit and more can be found here:

 Los Angeles civil rights attorney V. James DeSimone has dedicated his 35-year law career to providing vigorous and ethical representation to achieve justice for those whose civil and constitutional rights are violated.

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