Back in June 2017, 20-year-old Tommy Le was fatally shot by deputy Cesar Molina after receiving a call about a man armed with a knife. Now, the family of the late victim is calling for the investigation to be included in the state review.
According to The Seattle Times, Le’s family asked that their loved one’s death be included in the “the list of instances of deadly force by law enforcement,” which is now being reviewed by the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. Following the incident that took place in June 2017, the sheriff’s office has been criticized by others.
The court documents revealed that Le was not holding a knife at the time but rather an ink pen. An autopsy report cited that two of the three bullets that hit the 20-year-old were in his back. That same year, a sheriff’s review panel ruled that the shooting was “justified and within department policy.” At the moment, the family’s $10 million civil rights lawsuit against Kings County and Molina remains pending.
Last month, Attorney General Bob Ferguson revealed that his office will review at least 30 investigations of deadly force used by police that took place this year. He is hopeful that the initiative will provide much needed answers.
“I think definitely it brings up this case much more, but also when you talk about the systemic issues that are at play, this is one of the most egregious examples that I see, so there’s no question why this has been brought up,” Senator Joe Nguyen said.
Le’s aunt Xuyen Le added, “We came to this country because we believe in the justice system. When this happened to Tommy, he didn’t get justice. He died so young. We still have faith in the government and we are still looking forward to the day justice is served.”
The news regarding Le’s case came in the wake of nationwide protests, calling for racial equality in America.