The police fired at Frank Mendoza in 2014 after mistaking him for another wanted man who broke into the victim’s home.

The police pay the price for their negligence. Los Angeles County ( California) has agreed to pay $ 14.35 million ($ 12.27 million) to the family of a man shot by police in error in 2014 during an operation against a gang member, announced the family’s lawyer, Monday, August 27. “This is the worst nightmare of any citizen when he thinks he is protected by the police, but on the contrary, the police take his life,” said Garo Mardirossian, the family lawyer. The Mendoza family had filed a lawsuit against the county and the sheriff’s office, saying the officers had been negligent.

The victim was taken for a fugitive

Frank Mendoza, 54, was shot dead on August 1, 2014, by an officer who mistook him for Cedric Ramirez. The latter, considered one of the most dangerous gang members in the sector, then sought for crimes, according to the county prosecutor’s report in Los Angeles  (in English). The fugitive broke into the Mendoza home while the police chased him. Several members of the victim’s family managed to escape but when Frank Mendoza wanted to escape, a policeman took him for Cedric Ramirez and shot him in the head and another in the legs.

According to the authorities, Cedric Ramirez was later shot dead after he directed a firearm at a policeman and took Frank Mendoza’s wife, Lorraine, hostage for eight hours. “The police were forced to make a decision in an instant while an armed suspect repeatedly fired on the police, putting innocent lives at risk and taking a family hostage in their home,” the office said. Los Angeles Sheriff in a statement, offering his condolences to Frank Mendoza’s relatives. “The result was the rescue of this hostage but also the heartbreaking death of an innocent man,” he said.