by Barry Burch Jr.
Justice has been served in favor of a homeless LA couple. The two were tragically shot by LA sheriff’s deputies more than 15 times. In short, they aren’t homeless anymore…they’re millionaires.
As reported by KTLA, in October of 2010, Angel Martinez along with his then-fiancé, Jennifer were sleeping inside of a shack located on one of their friend’s properties in Lancaster, California. To their utter surprise, deputies came barging in under the guise of pursuit. Unbelievably, the two Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Christopher Conley and Jennifer Pederson, opened fire on the couple inside the wood-framed shack. They did not have a warrant.
According to the deputies, they were able to see a BB gun and began shooting on sight. Their judgment resulted in Angel being shot over 14 times, and his fiancé Jennifer, who was also pregnant during all of this, being shot one time in the back and also received a graze from a bullet, injuring her hand, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. Angel ultimately had to have some of his leg amputated. Jennifer was able to fully recover with no harm done to the baby.
“If they would’ve announced, ‘Police, open the door’ I would have came out…I kept screaming for them to ‘stop shooting, stop shooting, my fiancé is pregnant, it’s just a BB gun,’” Angel said. On a video following the incident, an officer can be heard asking Angel why he went for the replica rifle. He responded that he did not, and that the rifle was sitting on his bed and he went to move it.
Thankfully for the couple, a judge ruled that their civil rights were violated and awarded them $4.1 million.
The deputies were not penalized. After an internal investigation, they were cleared of any wrongdoing. “The individual raised a weapon and pointed it at the deputies,” a spokesman for the Sherriff’s department told the news station. “They have to do what’s necessary and in this case, they fired.”