30 May 2008

Family of Samoa man shot dead by police in Long Beach, sue police and city administration

1:28 pm on 30 May 2008

The family of a Samoan man shot and killed by police officers in Long Beach California are suing the city and the police department, seeking damages for wrongful death and civil-rights violations.

Roketi Su'e, who has been described by relatives as schizophrenic and suffering from terminal lung cancer, was killed two weeks ago by police gunfire during a struggle.

The family's lawyer has told the local media that the claim has been filed against the city, the Long Beach Police Department and the officers, whom police have refused to identify.

The claim states police violently confronted Mr Su'e, assaulting him in front of his family with their batons and tasers, before shooting him without warning.

According to the claim, officers also unjustifiably and unconstitutionally denied medical care to the man and have destroyed, and have conspired to destroy, evidence.

Police have said that Mr Su'e was fatally shot after he charged at the officers and a struggle ensued.