Civil rights suit filed in police killing

10:00 PM PST on Tuesday, December 30, 2008
The Press-Enterprise

The parents of a former Moreno Valley resident who was shot and killed by an Anaheim police officer in October have filed a federal lawsuit against that city claiming that their son was a victim of police negligence and racial prejudice.

The Civil Rights Violations complaint, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana by Jerry Alexander and Sheryl Bell, seeks damages against Anaheim and officers who were on the scene that night at 316 N. Muller Street.

The 16-page complaint did not specify how much they are seeking.

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Their son, Julian Alexander, 20, who was black, was shot dead by an Anaheim officer early in the morning of Oct. 28, as he stood outside his in-laws' Anaheim home, where the newlywed was living with his wife.

The suit claims that Alexander was a victim of police negligence and excessive use of force motivated by racial prejudice. Alexander, who was born in Riverside and grew up in Moreno Valley and San Bernardino County, went to Riverside's Notre Dame High School.

Bell, his mother, lives in Moreno Valley. His father, Jerry Alexander, is a former Crestline resident who lives in San Luis Obispo County.

Cristina Talley, Anaheim's acting city attorney, said she could not comment because her office had yet to receive notice of the lawsuit. Talley said that Alexander's parents have filed a claim with the city but said the city has yet to accept or deny it.

Alexander was shot as he came out of the house to check out a commotion at the property, said the Anaheim Police Department. A police officer pursuing four burglary suspects on foot shot Alexander. In the shooting's aftermath, Anaheim police said that a police investigation found that Alexander had armed himself with a club-style weapon.

The complaint denied that Alexander was armed with any kind of weapon, and that he posed no threat. It alleged that the officer fired on Alexander without warning.

At least two investigations have been launched into the shooting, with Anaheim police and the Orange County district attorney's office running separate probes.

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