L.A. County Sheriff’s Department places ‘security hold’ on Andres Guardado autopsy

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Andres Guardado, 18, was shot and killed by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy in Compton. (AP via CNN Wire)

Andres Guardado, 18, was shot and killed by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy in Compton. (AP via CNN Wire)

The autopsy for a man shot and killed by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy last week has been placed on a “security hold” by the department, according to a statement from the coroner’s office.

News of the hold came the same day the city of Compton issued a statement demanding answers over the death of 18-year-old Andres Guardado.

Guardado was pursued by sheriff’s deputies after he reportedly displayed a handgun, looked toward the deputies and ran from the front of an auto body shop in Gardena, Captain Kent Wegener, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau, said during a Saturday press conference.

One of the deputies fired six rounds after catching up to Guardado at the rear of the business. Guardado was hit in the upper torso and pronounced dead at the scene, Wegener said.

Adam Shea, representing the Guardado family, issued a statement late Monday night saying that the family demands and deserves justice.

“The family of Andres Guardado demands answers. They demand accountability. They demand, and deserve, full transparency from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department regarding the facts surrounding the death of this young man,” the statement said. “We will not rest until these facts are fully disclosed.”

But now the answers Guardado’s family and others want about his death may not be coming for some time.

Autopsy on ‘security hold’

“Since LASD placed a security hold on the case, the report and the cause of death cannot be released to the public,” Sarah Ardalani, the Public Information Officer for the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office, told CNN on Monday.

Guardado’s body was scheduled to be examined Monday but with the hold, it could be some time before the results are released to the public.

The hold could last for “months to years, depending on the investigation and the agency,” according to Ardalani.

That doesn’t bode well for the city and community that want to know what happened.

“The only acceptable reaction to the murder of Andres Guardado is immediate action by all responsible parties. People are hurting and they are tired of excuses,” the city of Compton said. “I strongly urge the LA County Sheriff’s Department to address this incident immediately and provide answers for the family and our community.”

After the hold was announced, the city of Santa Ana set a curfew Monday night for 10 p.m. due to “possible civil unrest resulting from protests,” according to the city.

Over the weekend, protesters marching for justice for Guardado clashed with sheriff’s deputies at the sheriff’s station in Compton. Rubber bullets and tear gas were deployed against the protesters, some of whom were detained.

Sheriff requested investigation oversight by AG

Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva reached out to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to request his office oversee the investigation into Guardado’s death “out of an abundance of caution,” Villanueva said in a tweet on Monday.

“I am committed to transparency and strengthening community faith in the investigative process,” he tweeted.

In a letter to the AG, Villanueva said, “The public has demanded oversight in the ensuing investigation. The current nation-wide political climate lends itself to a public demand for police accountability, and the propensity of antagonists to assemble large amounts of people in a short time in protest to any perception of impropriety.”

Villanueva ended the letter by requesting that the AG monitor the investigation being conducted by the department.

The sheriff also tweeted Monday night that he is still committed to implementing the use of body worn cameras for all deputies in the department.

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