On Sunday, family, friends and community organizers gathered at the home of Ivan Solis Mora, who was shot and killed by Inglewood police last month, to call for justice as they marched to the steps of the police department.
Mora’s family told KTLA that the 34-year-old suffered from schizophrenia and that police were aware of his history with mental illness. Now they are calling on the department to better train officers for these kinds of situations.
Witnesses of the fatal Sept. 21 police shooting said officers were called to the home to handle a family dispute. Original reports of the encounter allege that Mora was armed with a knife and that after attempting to use non-lethal force on the 34-year-old, police were forced to shoot him when he charged toward them.
Relatives of Mora, though, insist he never had a weapon on him and that officials with the Inglewood Police Department have not been answering any questions about the incident since it happened.
Advocates for the family, including Christian Contreres, their lawyer, are concerned that Mora was having a mental health crisis at the time of the shooting and that the situation should have been handled much differently.
“Instead of calling for the appropriate resources, instead of calling for the mental health team, they rushed in guns blazing and they escalated a situation which require more compassion, more empathy and a way to deal with individuals who have such conditions,” the lawyer told KTLA’s Rachel Menitoff.
Petra Mora, the 34-year-old’s mother said her son was non-violent.
“I just want you to know my son was a good boy,” she said earlier this week. “He never did anything wrong to anybody. I always fought for my son, even toward the end.”
The crowd of demonstrators, led by Cliff Smith with the Coalition for Community Control Over Police, was demanding greater transparency in the police department, as well as asking for the names of the officers involved in the fatal shooting.
“They’ve tried to claim that they felt that there was such a threat and that they neutralized that threat,” Smith said. “If they had body camera videos, we could judge that for ourselves.”
The Mora family has filed a damage claim against the city, which will become a lawsuit in 45 days.
So far, the Inglewood Police Department has not responded to KTLA’s request for comment on the deadly shooting.