Family of Schizophrenic Man Killed by L.A. Sheriff’s Deputies in Lakewood Will Receive $3.3 Million in Settlement

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Susan Berry, center, is consoled by daughters during a news conference about her son's death in 2015. (Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Something wasn’t right when John Berry drove up unannounced to his family’s home one day two summers ago. He’d been fired from his job at a pizza parlor and had been getting little sleep — not a healthy scenario for someone diagnosed with schizophrenia who appeared to be off his medication.

So when Berry’s brother, a sworn law enforcement officer, called the local Los Angeles County sheriff’s station in Lakewood, he requested a mental evaluation team to try to calm Berry down and transport him to medical care.

Instead, after deputies responded to the call about an “insane person” on the residential street where Berry was parked on July 6, 2015, a struggle ensued. Berry was shot 18 times and killed by deputies, according to a memorandum by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Last week, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a $3.3-million settlement in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by Berry’s mother and other family members, who alleged that deputies used excessive force against Berry.

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