SOUTH GATE, Calif. (FOX 11) - A man who was shot by South Gate police in January is suing the department for excessive force after his attorney says he was shot at 16 times and struck at least 13 times.
Daniel Canizales was shot multiple times off of Paramount Boulevard on January 29, 2019, while South Gate police were responding to reports of a disturbance at a business.
Surveillance video shows Canizales running from the police, as several units follow him. Canizales runs into a side alley, then re-emerges, and walks away from police.
South Gate police say Canizales repeatedly ignored their orders to comply, and witnesses saw him reaching into his pockets. Video shows officers opening fire on him, and he slumps to the ground.
“It’s just real sad and depressing, you know, I just thank God that I’m here,” Canizales said at a press conference with his attorney, Luis Carrillo, on Wednesday.
He was in a wheelchair, and his family says he may remain that way for the rest of his life.
“We want justice, we want justice because the man was unarmed when he was shot,” Carrillo said. “He was not being pursued from an armed robbery or attempted murder or anything like that. What those officers did was totally against the law, and worse, they didn’t follow or were not trained properly as to police procedure and proper police tactics, you don’t just shoot an unarmed man in broad daylight!”
No gun was recovered at the scene.
Canizales’ brother fears his sibling may never walk again after the bullet shattered his left kneecap.
“The nerves are damaged permanently,” Alejandro Somoza said. “That hurts to know my brother might not be able to walk anymore, or is not gonna be able to walk anymore.”
“This was so unjust, and the police officers committed so many tactical mistakes, that I do believe a jury will do justice in this case,” Carrillo said.
South Gate Police Department told FOX 11 they would not be responding or giving a statement in response to the lawsuit.