For the first time since an off-duty LAPD cop went ballistic on a family of three inside a Southern California Costco, killing their son and leaving them in critical condition, Richard and Paola French addressed the media about the lack of transparency and accountability in the shooting investigation earlier this week.
Not only has a judge barred the release of the surveillance video that captured the shooting for at least a year, police and prosecutors have clamped down on the release on all information related to the investigation of Salvador Sanchez, the Los Angeles police officer who killed Ken French.
It all reeks of a coverup and the surviving parents are distraught at the lack of justice for their son, who suffered from mental illness and is believed to have shoved the cop while waiting in line for free food samples inside the Costco in Riverside County on June 14.
The cop, who was holding a baby, responded by handing the baby to his wife, then pulling out his gun and identifying himself as an officer. He then fired several times, striking Paola French in the back, Richard French in the abdomen and Kenneth French in the back, suggesting both the mom and the son were trying to get away from the cop when he fired.
On Monday, after spending months in the hospital, both parents addressed the media during a press conference and said they pleaded with the cop not to shoot but he shot them anyway.
“After hearing Officer Sanchez identify himself as a police officer, I begged and told him not to shoot,” Russell French said. “I said, ‘We have no guns, and my son is sick.’ He still shot. I thought people don’t do that.”
And his wife said the same.
“I told Officer Sanchez not to shoot twice, I even said please,” Paola French said. “I was pleading for our son and our lives. I was still shot in the back. What threat did I pose to him?”
Sanchez, of course, claimed he was not only in fear for his life but in fear for his son’s life and that’s the version police and prosecutors will be pushing as they always do.
But the Los Angeles police officer was not only off-duty and out of uniform, he was not even in his jurisdiction considering the shooting took place in Corona in Riverside County, which is next to Los Angeles County.
What has been released are some photos from the shooting scene which indicates there may have been quite a distance between the cop and the victims.
Moments after the shooting, local media reported the shooter was in custody but that was before it was announced he was a cop. Ever since then, Sanchez’s Blue Privilege has sheltered him from any real accountability.
Even in gun-friendly “stand your ground” states like Florida, shooting an unarmed person who is retreating is grounds for conviction as we learned last week after a man was convicted for killing another man who had shoved him, then retreated.
So one would think that in a state like California which is said to have the nation’s most restrictive gun laws, a case like this should result in an immediate prosecution and conviction.
But as always, there are one set of laws for the citizens and another for cops.
The entire press conference can be viewed below in shaky video.