The Cochran Firm is pleased to announce the May 21, 2019 findings of the Los Angles Police Department’s five member civilian review board, known as the Board of Police Commissioners (BOPC), who recently evaluated the June 16, 2018 fatal shooting of 49 year old Elizabeth Tollison, who was shot and killed by three Los Angeles Police Department Officers after being taken hostage at knife point by Guillermo Perea, a suspect who was suspected of an assault occuring earlier that day. The entire incident was captured on video, via the officers’ body worn cameras.
The BOPC evaluated issues related to the tactical response of the involved officers preceding the shooting, as well as issues related to the officers’ use of deadly force during the shooting. Following the death of their mother, the children of Elizabeth Tollison retained The Cochran Firm, and attorney Brian Dunn, in the summer of 2018 for the purpose of performing an investigation into this officer involved shooting. After concluding that Ms. Tollison’s death was the preventable result of serious tactical errors both prior to and during the officer involved shooting, The Cochran Firm initiated a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles and the involved Officers on September 11, 2018. In finding several aspects of the tactical response, as well as several aspects of the use of deadly force employed in this officer involved shooting to be “out of policy”, the BOPC’s findings echoed many of the issues raised in The Cochran Firm’s wrongful death lawsuit. While extremely distraught over their mother’s death, Ms. Tollison’s three surviving children, each of whom attended the BOPC proceedings, were encouraged to learn that their mother’s death may result in improved training, that may prevent future fatal officer involved shootings.