Mother of David Raya, Unarmed Man Fatally Shot By Anaheim Police in 2011, Files Suit Against City

David-Raya_apd.jpg
Anaheim Police Dept.
David Raya
Maria Lopez has filed a federal civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit today nearly two years after her 23-year-old son was gunned down by Anaheim police. David Raya, a Fullerton resident, was staying at his girlfriend's West Guinida Lane apartment on August 16, 2011 when the Anaheim Police Department Crime Task Force (CTF) attempted to contact him.

According to the Orange County District Attorney's (OCDA) report into the incident released last October, a foot chase ensued, when Anaheim police investigator Bruce Linn fired three shots at Raya, claiming the man had made motions towards his rear waistband.

Two more shots were fired, striking and killing Raya. Linn, who was also involved in the 2009 fatal shooting death of 35-year-old Caesar Cruz, said he feared for his life and that of his partner Chad Meyer, interpreting Raya's continued reaching as an attempt to pull a gun.

No weapon was ever recovered from the scene, only a glass pipe authorities say was retrieved in the waistband of his shorts near the small of his back. The OCDA concluded its investigative letter by clearing the officer of any criminal culpability in his actions.

raya_memorial.jpg
Gabriel San Román / OC Weekly
Raya's memorial on Guinida in 2013

In the suit filed today, Lopez contends that her son's civil rights were violated by Anaheim police. "Although serious efforts were made over a long period of time by Mr. Raya's mother...to resolve this case without litigation there has been no serious effort by the city of Anaheim," attorney Richard Herman is quoted as saying in City News Service.

The federal civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit names Linn, retired Chief of Police John Welter, retired Deputy Chief Craig Hunter and the city of Anaheim.

CTF investigators had been informed by a 'wanted' flyer prepared by the APD Gang Unit in late July before the shooting that Raya was "an armed parolee-at-large with a warrant for his arrest." Other emails noted him as a dangerous gang member. He had been on parole at the time for assault with a firearm. On the day of the fatal shooting Linn was updated with information noting Raya as "on the run" and "stressed" with access to a shotgun.

"He was working in a restaurant with his mother," Herman tells the Weekly in countering the claim. "He did not want to go back to prison."

The Newport Beach-based attorney says the incident that occurred that fateful day amounted to a tragedy in a way reflective of how Anaheim's recent problems started. "They basically shot a guy running away in the back because they say he was reaching for a gun," he says. "It just doesn't make any sense and it's unfortunate."

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17 comments
Art, Lifestyle, Inspiration with Maria Brophy
Art, Lifestyle, Inspiration with Maria Brophy

theres a reason we have a court system - we can't just shoot people. This should be a civilized society where everyone gets a chance. Otherwise, innocent people will be murdered, too, like the decorated Marine in San Clemente who was gunned down by a cop in front of his 2 little girls. For no reason. He was completely innocent and was a hero.

Berto
Berto

On parole for "assault with a firearm"?  Oh this angel was taken from us too soon.  I'm sure he would have invented a cure for cancer if those evil whidebbil cops hadn't gunned him down.

The baby mama will score a settlement.  The tax payers will pay up and the cycle of violent babies having babies will continue.

Stop civilian brutality.


Jason W Buckley
Jason W Buckley

Ok Jerry. Don't break the law and you won't have to worry about getting shot in the back.

grvz5247
grvz5247

Coward cops shooting a man in the back. Pussy cowards!

Jerry Vazquez
Jerry Vazquez

Coward cops shooting a man in the Back. Efin chicken shit pussies.

Jerry Vazquez
Jerry Vazquez

Native indigenous people should have also killed all the illegal whites from europe.

Paul Brisco
Paul Brisco

So can we sue her for wrongful suing and wasting tax payers money. If she raised her son right this would of never happened. Can we sue her for not being a responsible parent and raising him properly.

Chris Henderson
Chris Henderson

You mean a money grubbing lawyer enticed her with promises of money hidden behind a false sense of "getting justice" so he can make 90% to her 10%. I hope someone points out the math to her before she goes through such an emotionally tragic experience......again.

James Ashes Sanner
James Ashes Sanner

And he wasn't a petty criminal either, his charges were violent, he was out on parole, suspected in more new crimes, reported to be carrying guns, and he ran from the cops. Oh and then there is the meth pipe that was found on him also. Yep, what a loss to the community....NOT!!!

Jason W Buckley
Jason W Buckley

Should have raised him right in the first place. Then he would have never been confronted by the police.

James Ashes Sanner
James Ashes Sanner

One less criminal walking around, why should she get paid, hell she was the one who raised a criminal!!!

gabrielsanroman
gabrielsanroman topcommenter

@Chris Henderson Despite your knee-jerk reaction, this is the same reputable lawyer who represented the Julian Alexander family in Anaheim (20 year old innocent Black man gunned down by police for hearing a commotion and protecting his home with a broomstick), a fact that he didn't "floss" and trot out in our interview.

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

"Then he would have never been confronted by the police"

LOL enjoy living in your bubble and may you and your loved one's never cross paths with mafia trash criminals pretending to be cops.

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