L.A. County to Pay Nearly $5 Million to Settle Lawsuits Involving 2 Fatal Shootings by Deputies

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Expensive payouts stemming from shootings by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies continue to climb, with the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approving nearly $5 million for the families of two men shot by deputies in separate incidents.

A video released by Noel Aguilar’s family shows a violent altercation with two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies in Long Beach. Aguilar was fatally shot in the incident.

In both 2014 incidents, deputies’ bullets killed people — and also wounded unintended victims.

Jose Hernandez, the victim of a knife attack, was mistakenly shot in the leg as lawmen fired 34 shots at another man wielding a blade. In the other case, Noel Aguilar was shot and killed just after a deputy inadvertently shot his fellow officer in the stomach as they struggled to hold Aguilar face-down on the ground.

The payments — $2 million to Hernandez and his son and $2.97 million to Aguilar’s family — come at a time of soaring deputy-related litigation costs at taxpayers’ expense. Last fiscal year, payouts to resolve legal claims tied to law enforcement actions cost the county nearly $51 million, a 65% jump from the previous year.

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