Family of Unarmed Man Killed by Anaheim PD Settle Civil Suit for $245,000
The city of Anaheim settled a lawsuit earlier this month filed by the family of David Raya. The 23-year-old man was unarmed when shot to death on August 16, 2011 by detective Bruce Linn near the 100 block of West Guinida Lane.
The Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) ruled the shooting justified, but Maria Lopez, Raya's mother, said the killing violated her son's civil rights. The Anaheim city council approved a $245,000 settlement on March 11 that came in exchange for the immediate dismissal of the lawsuit.
Linn, retired Chief of Police John Welter, retired Deputy Chief Craig Hunter and the city of Anaheim were named in the federal civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit.
The original filing claimed that "Bruce Linn repeatedly and unjustifiably discharged his department issued firearm at David Raya's back inflicting three gunshot wounds, which proved to be fatal. Following the shooting, the defendants denied medical care to Mr. David Raya in a manner that demonstrated deliberate indifference to his constitutional rights." The complaint also charged that the city and its police department hired and trained Linn "with conscious disregard of and deliberate indifference to the constitutional rights" of individuals.
In the officer-involved shooting, police said that Raya, a parolee at the time, reached for the back of his waistband repeatedly while fleeing. No gun was retrieved from the scene, only a pipe.
According to OCDA investigation letters obtained by the Weekly, detective Bruce Linn is named in at least five total officer-involved shootings in and around Anaheim dating back to September 25, 2002. In addition to Raya, Linn was also a part of the December 11, 2009 killing of 35-year-old Caesar Cruz.
Maria Lopez was represented in the lawsuit by Richard P. Herman. The skillful Newport Beach attorney reached a prior $1.55 million settlement agreement in Anaheim over the 2008 shooting death of Julian Alexander by officer Kevin Flanagan and is currently handling Caesar Cruz's case.
Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @dpalabraz