A jury has awarded $8.8 million to the family of Lejoy Grissom, who was fatally shot by a Culver City police officer on April 25, 2010 after robbing a nearby Radio Shack store on Sepulveda Blvd.
The unanimous verdict was reached after jurors deliberated several hours.
Grissom, 27, was shot after he was pulled over on Venice Blvd. A Culver City police officer spotted the car with a female driver and the male suspect driving erratically. The Culver City officer noted at the time the male passenger matched the description of the suspected robber.
With other officers arriving and guns drawn the suspect exited the car and reportedly reached for his waist. It was at that time Officer Luis Martinez fired three rounds striking Grissom.
Grissom was transported to a local hospital where he died.
Martinez testified that he saw something shiny in Grissom’s hand. While the reports were that he had a gun when he robbed the store no gun was found at the scene of the shooting.
Each of Grissom's four children was awarded $2 million with an additional $825,000 in related compensation.
Officer Martinez was cleared of any wrongdoing by the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and the Los Angeles District Attorney.
Informed sources at city hall said the city, which self insures, would be obligated to pay the first $1 million and the city’s umbrella policy would pay off the balance. The city is reviewing the verdict and has not yet decided if it will appeal the decision.