By Alma Fausto The Orange County Register
ANAHEIM, Calif. — A federal lawsuit filed by the family of a teenage boy, detained after an Anaheim confrontation with an off-duty Los Angeles police officer who fired a gunshot, has been dropped.
The family had sued Officer Kevin Ferguson, the city of Anaheim and the Los Angeles Police Department for more than $5 million but agreed on Thursday, Aug. 30, to drop the litigation to avoid paying any legal fees to the city and the officer, said Ferguson’s attorney, John Christl.
The suit stemmed from a Feb. 21, 2017 incident that was caught on videos and spread across social media. The videos show Ferguson, an LAPD officer at the time, struggling with several teens on the sidewalk and street of West Palais Road in Anaheim. The confrontation, police have said, was apparently ignited by an on-going problem of children walking across the officer’s property.
At one point the officer drew his handgun from his waistband and shot into the ground. He then took hold of the 13-year-old boy, who’s family later filed the lawsuit claiming the officer attacked the boy and Anaheim police failed to investigate before detaining the minor. Charges were not filed against the boy.
Attorneys for the teen’s family could not be reached for comment.
Calling the suit “thin,” Christl said on Friday, Aug. 31 that the plaintiffs “were going to have a tough time trying the liability” of the police agencies and Ferguson.
Ferguson has since resigned from the Los Angeles Police Department. “It’s a really a shame,” Christl said. “He’s a good man, and I’m sure was a good officer.”
On Feb. 6, the Los Angeles Police Commission decided that Ferguson acted out of policy and disapproved of his tactics. Ferguson, who had been assigned to the Hollywood Division. Shortly before that, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office decided there was not enough evidence to file charges against Ferguson.
“This was an unfortunate incident for Anaheim, and we feel for all those touched by it,” Anaheim city spokesman Mike Lyster said in a statement. “The judge’s decision reflects the difficult position our officers were put in that day. We offer our best wishes to the family as we all move forward.”
Said the attorney for Ferguson: “This turned (his) life upside down, but we’re happy to have it resolved so he can get back to his life.”