Lawsuit: Anaheim Police "Executed" Cuffed Man in Cover Up

joel_acevedo.jpg
Joel Acevedo (right)

A lawsuit filed this week claims Anaheim police officers covered up what really happened on the night of July 22, 2012, when they shot and killed Joel Acevedo. The Orange County District Attorney's (OCDA) office completed its investigation into the shooting clearing officer Kelly Phillips on the grounds that Acevedo was armed and shot first after fleeing a reportedly stolen Lexus SUV. The lawsuit alleges a completely different story involving nothing less than an outright execution.

The 25-page complaint states that Acevedo was "killed without legal justification in violation of his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights."

More explosively, it says that Phillips (who received a Distinguished Service Award this May for the Acevedo incident during the PD's annual awards) and fellow officers Trang Pham and Daniel Lambaren had the young man detained and handcuffed. At that point, Phillips fired a shot to the head without warning.

"If we don't change the way we hold police officers accountable, the wrongs will only get worse," says attorney Matthew Pappas. He's representing Donna Acevedo and Joel's young son pro bono in the case.

"It's not about any money or even winning the case," Acevedo says. "Just getting the story out of what really happened is most important to me." She is also running for Anaheim city council this year.

The night of the shooting, a photo emerged showing Acevedo with a gun between his legs. The OCDA report noted that Phillips kicked it out of his hand as he lay on the ground twitching after the shootout. The complaint counters that Acevedo was never armed and that officers altered evidence to conceal their actions.

It isn't the first time such a claim has been made. Vanessa Duran, the driver of the SUV that night, told OCDA investigators that she witnessed an execution-style killing as officers held down her friend before firing. Duran's account was dismissed as without merit and at odds with the evidence collected at the scene.

Pappas, a former candidate for Long Beach city attorney, took on preparing the complaint as the statute of limitations to file approached. Acevedo's last lawyer died of pancreatic cancer. Had the deadline passed, no legal channels would remain to contest an official version that Acevedo insists is simply not true.

"This is a case, while difficult, presents something important," Pappas says. "When you have witnesses that say he was held down before being shot, there's a basis for filing."

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41 comments
Alfred Vill
Alfred Vill

thats what happens when u hire cops like u hire cashiers.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Homicidal Trigger-happy Pigs

carpetbagger
carpetbagger

Donna should have followed Greg Diamonds daughters lead and abandoned the kid in another country, then cry foul that the "immigration system is broken", Sure he'd be broke destitute and living of the working people, but at least he'd be alive!

Gerardo Martínez
Gerardo Martínez

Don't dress in that attire, Anaheim cops are mostly uneducated retards right along side the Fullerton cops. They judge before you even speak. Out of all the OC cops the Anaheim one's are the stupidest on the set.

Henry Miramontes
Henry Miramontes

Film police officers at all times! Police officers are not your friends! Police Officers are America's biggest Gang! And there RUTHLESS! THEY MUST BE STOPPED!

FFO1939
FFO1939

Like I said, it's futile. Who is going to believe to a bad mother who can't admit that she raised a poor child.  Anyway, I am going to attend the opening of the new dog statue of Bruno for taking down that filthy gangster. Who is coming?

FFO1939
FFO1939

Lawsuit for what?? Jajajajajajaja.... What a pendeja, the judge is going to wipe the lawsuit with his/her ass. 

Gilmar Lopez
Gilmar Lopez

That's what I had read when it first happened. Stop the terrorism!

Sig714
Sig714

Wow really? I use to live in the guinida apartments when this happened and this article is not true. Joey did pull out a gun to the officers when the pursuit came to an end. I'm not trying to be on anyone's side here. Even a few witnesses said that Joey pulled out a gun. The officer had every right to shot. Ms. Acevedo is full of it.. She has 2 other sons and one of them is part of a gang called avls. And yet she wants to run for the city?? If she wants to article to word out, how about what I have to say goes out too so people also have an idea as well. I knew the law suit was coming and yes it's for the money trust me.

Ryan J Nolan
Ryan J Nolan

All? painting a broad stroke with that brush ya have. While their maybe bad cops out there not all are out to get you like everyone wants to think

ifitsbrownflushitdow
ifitsbrownflushitdow

hmm, let's see, do i believe the police who protect us from vermin like acevedo... or do i believe the vermin?  you see, most law abiding CITIZENS side with the police.. sorry mexicans... this aint T.J. and you cant act the fool here and bribe the cops to let you go

Bill Gildow
Bill Gildow

All COPS are cowards with a damn badge and a gun

Amanda McNeil
Amanda McNeil

I don't have robert as a friend any more but this story popped up today Juanisimus Carlosaurus Millionotron you can tag I'm sure.

Johnnie Nguyen
Johnnie Nguyen

If this happened in a suburban white neighborhood these cops would of been toasts! But it didn't and it happened in the poor neighborhoods of Anaheim were residents dont know they rights and police just walk all over them! Fuck these asshole cops killing ppl and getting awards? WTF you got me fucked up my dude!

Pinkindie
Pinkindie

Whether this man was committing a crime or not (seems that he was) our, yes "our", officers that are paid to SERVE us, are not above the law.  Because next thing you know, they'll be killing anyone they damn well choose, like some homeless man simply walking down the street.  OH, wait ...

jillianbabe
jillianbabe

well....one less dangerous gang member on the street...

look- that vato would have eventually hurt or kill somebody. 

Punchdust
Punchdust

This story is so beyond belief it was hardly worth reading. The gang bangers never do anything wrong do they. Just laughable.

sweetliberty17761776
sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

if police are guilty


us good people dont want them on the force



to the community


make sure you work with the police to get criminals thrown in jail



just like there are bad police 

who need to be locked up



there are bad sons and daughters moms and dads etc 

who need to be locked up



Sig714
Sig714

But yet you will call them when your house gets robbed or your car gets stolen right?

gabrielsanroman
gabrielsanroman topcommenter

@Sig714 If there are witnesses who saw a gun being pulled, the OCDA investigators should have interviewed and cited them in the report. I mean, they went out of their way to publish it in Spanish.

ivanlopez28
ivanlopez28

Just like u there other ppl saying the other side of the story

ivanlopez28
ivanlopez28

It doesnt have to be tj or anywere corruption is every where so dont talk out of ur ass buddy

mexicaniqis50
mexicaniqis50

hey johnnie... when the Mexicans are kicking your head in, im guessing you are going to be crying for the cops.. get wise, Mexicans cant stand your kind

TheRefriedMexican
TheRefriedMexican

How about investigating Ms Acevedos 2 other sons. If 1 is indeed a gangbanger then her credibility has to fly out the window que no?

PissedOff
PissedOff

@mexicaniqis50 You are an asshole. You best pray you don't try kicking in MY head you fucking punk. I'll kick his ass for you Johnnie...


PissedOff
PissedOff

@mexicaniqis50 Hey punk, you best not try kicking in MY head, I won't cry for the cops bitch but you might...Hijo de puta madre

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