District Attorney Jackie Lacey weighs in on Andres Guardado case

Protesters outside of the Hall of Justice called for District Attorney Jackie Lacey's resignation along with answers in the shooting death of Andres Guardado.

"It's tragic. I hate to hear of anyone shot and killed and I hate to hear of the circumstances but I realize that as the DA, I have to wait for the case to come in and look at the autopsy report, look at any DNA evidence, look at any digital evidence. I want to hear what all the witnesses say because I believe there were witnesses. I want to hear the officer's explanation if there is one," said Lacey.

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The deputy who pulled the trigger has invoked his Fifth Amendment Rights and has not been officially interviewed about the shooting. Lacey discussed how long it normally takes for officers to be interviewed in similar cases.

"Sometimes the officer is interviewed right away. When I say right away, I mean the next day. If the officer is injured you might see a bit of a delay when they're interviewed. Often times though you will see an officer interviewed within this 20 day period because by then they've gotten an attorney," Lacey said.

Lacey pointed to differences between LAPD and LASD.

"LAPD compels their officers as part of their job to be interviewed so they don't have the right to remain silent. They have to tell their employer what happened but because that statement is compelled by their policies, I can't use anything that that officer said. The Sheriff's Department, my experience is they don't compel their officers to give a statement. It's voluntary so in some respects, the officer or the deputy has a little more control as to when they're interviewed," said Lacey.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies shot and killed Guardado, 18, after they said he "produced a handgun." The family and the attorney for the family have disputed the gun claims saying he did not own a weapon.

"There are several eyewitnesses who said Andres did not have a gun and there's a lot of questions about where that gun came from. The family and Andres' best friends are all adamant he didn't own a gun. He didn't have a gun. The people who were with him that morning said no way, no how did he have a gun. Where did that gun come from? We have a lot of questions about that," said Adam Shea.

The family released the results of an independent autopsy showing Guardado was shot in the back five times. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has placed their official autopsy on a security hold, a move that's been criticized by members of the public. A spokesperson for the LASD said the Medical Examiner's Office has not yet alerted them if the autopsy has been completed.  

"Holding out to facts is meant to keep the investigation from being tainted in any way, shape or form. I've been with the LASD for over 34 years and again under my leadership, I am pushing us as an organization to be as transparent as possible without jeopardizing criminal administrative investigations," said Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

The protesters gather outside of Lacey's office every Wednesday to protest her record on prosecuting police officers, and talk about the people who died at the hands of police. Lacey said some of the numbers talked about during the protests are "inaccurate."

"There's a lot about this number of there being 602 people who have died at the hands of police. Our numbers don't show that. Our numbers show that about 342 people have been shot and fatally by the police and I want to get that number out because there are groups that have taken the 602 number and they repeat it so often people think it's accurate, but it's not. It's not what we have. We can back up our numbers. Even if you include people who committed suicide in custody, overdosed or died some kind of physical force, you're not going to get close to 602," said Lacey.

Lacey said she will prosecute the case if the law was broken.

"If in fact the law was broken, we have no qualms about charging officers. We have charged officers in the past and if there's a law that was broken, we will charge in the future," said Lacey.