Probe demanded over Latino police shooting death in Los Angeles

©Agence France-Presse

Hundreds of people have gathered to protest Andres Guardado's death

Los Angeles (AFP) - Los Angeles officials Tuesday demanded an independent probe into the death of a young Latino security guard, whose shooting by police has fueled more protests against police brutality and racism.

Andres Guardado, 18, was killed last week after a deputy fired multiple gunshots in Gardena, Los Angeles County.

Police say Guardado was shot when he fled from an auto repair shop after he "produced a handgun."

Guardado's death came during a period of nationwide demonstrations that began with the death in police custody of an African American man, George Floyd, in Minnesota last month.

Los Angeles County's board of supervisors Tuesday unanimously approved a motion for a "robust and independent investigation to ensure the truth is uncovered and justice is served."

A day earlier, Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva had committed to "transparency," asking the state's attorney general to monitor an internal probe.

But introducing the motion for an independent inquiry, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas wrote there was a "trend" for the sheriff's department to not cooperate in independent investigations.

According to the sheriff's department, officers were on a routine patrol last Thursday when they approached Guardado and saw he had a gun. 

Guardado's weapon was an unregistered, illegal hunting device, it said.

No video footage of the incident has emerged, and autopsy results have not yet been disclosed for "security" reasons, angering family members who allege Guardado was shot in the back.

"I feel like I'm dead inside," said Elisa Guardado, his mother.

Hundreds of people have gathered to protest Guardado's death in recent days. A march on Sunday was dispersed by police using pepper spray and rubber bullets.