Silver Lake — The family of Melyda “Mely” Corado, the Trader Joe’s manager killed during a gun battle between police and a suspect, has filed a claim for damages against the department, alleging police misconduct and a cover-up surrounding the July 21 shootout, attorneys said today.
Corado, an innocent bystander, was struck and killed by an officer’s bullet during the gun battle outside the store on Hyperion Avenue.
The claims filed on behalf of Corado’s father and brother by their attorneys include allegations that the LAPD violated civil rights, used excessive force, failed to provide adequate training to officers, and conspired to cover up wrongful misconduct.
Attorneys for the family say the LAPD has failed to provide unedited bodycam, dashcam and store surveillance video.
“The LAPD has repeatedly been given the chance to cooperate, as they said they would,” said attorney Ron Rosengarten. “Sadly, they are still withholding information that can provide crucial answers in what appears to be a tactic to cover up wrongful misconduct.”
A claim for damages is not a lawsuit. The LAPD has 45 days to respond to the claim, said attorneys. Lawsuits can be filed after.
An LAPD spokesman said the department would have not comment.
Officers had been pursuing Gene Evin Atkins, who allegedly shot his grandmother and another woman earlier in the day, when his car crashed into a post in front of the Trader Joe’s on Hyperion Avenue.
Officers and Atkins exchanged gunfire as he emerged from the car and went into the store. It was during this time that Corado was shot, went back into the store and collapsed near the manager’s station, according to police.
Numerous shoppers and workers were trapped or held hostage in the store for several hours after Atkins surrendered to police.
The family’s attorneys in September claimed that officers did not follow department policy when they began shooting outside the store.
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