Los Angeles city officials have settled with the family of Christian Eaddy, the 26-year-old Pacoima man who was shot and killed by an LAPD officer.
On Wednesday, March 29, the LA City Council approved a $2 million settlement to Greg Eaddy, Christian’s father, to be paid over this fiscal year and the next fiscal year. The council’s vote was 14-0.
Last August, a Los Angeles Superior Court jury found LAPD Officer Christopher Carr and Christian Eaddy were negligent in the incident, but also found that Eaddy’s civil rights were violated.
Christian was Greg’s only child.
The confrontation with between the LAPD and Christian took place on May 16, 2013, in the driveway of the family home. Police were responding to a 9-1-1 call saying there was a man with two knives and syringes in the 13000 block of Corcoran Street threatening to kill himself.
Carr and his partner, LAPD Officer Fernando Avila, did not know that Christian had been hit by a car when he was four, and spent a week in a coma. Or that the resulting accident would cause the young African American to struggle with developmental issues the rest of his life.
But the confrontation would not end peacefully. Christian was both tasered and eventually shot. He would die four hours later.
During the trial, Robert Brown, Greg’s attorney, argued that that his son’s life could have been spared had Carr and Avila showed better judgment including waiting for other officers already on their way to the scene to arrive.
Brown argued further that Christian Eaddy had placed the two knives in a shopping cart in the driveway of his home before Carr shot him.
Instead, Avila and Carr made “cascading tactical decisions” from the time they arrived that displayed a “cynical approach that permeates the culture of the LAPD,” Brown contended.
Los Angeles city attorneys countered by saying that prior to the fatal shooting, Avila fired a stun gun at the suspect, and that Carr used justifiable deadly force because Eaddy was charging at him with both knives.
Christian’s mother had also been a plaintiff in the lawsuit, but she died last year.
In speaking to the (italics) San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol last August, Greg thanked the jury for its verdict. “However, when it comes to your son or your family, once they are missing — there were plans you had for the future, your son growing up and having a family, seeing what kind of man he was going to be — although there’s a judgement and I’m thankful that can never take t5he place of your son.”
Greg, who works as a real estate investigator, described Christian as “a wonderful soul, and I’m not just saying that because he was my son or because of the case. He was a wonderful, gregarious person. He loved life, he loved people. He was better than me in life.”
Greg decided to sue the LAPD after initials reports, in his estimation, shined a negative light on his son and he didn’t want Christian to be just another young African American male dead by the hands of police.
“When I heard the story on the news I thought ‘that was my son and it’s not gonna get swept under the rug like this,’” he said. “The usual ‘I feared for my life and we shot him.’ It’s a pattern and I was not gonna be a victim of this pattern of the LAPD, and how they explain things.”
CNS contributed to this report.