Criminal charges will not be filed against two Long Beach officers who shot and killed a fleeing theft suspect in 2014, according to county prosecutors who concluded there was “insufficient evidence.”
In a memo sent to Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) Chief Robert Luna on Tuesday, officials with the Justice System Integrity Division of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office stated that there was insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Officers Eric Barich and Salvador Alatorre used unreasonable force or did not act in lawful self-defense when they fired their duty weapons.
In April 2014, 36-year-old Jason Conoscenti was fatally shot by police after leading Sheriff’s deputies on a slow speed chase from Compton to Long Beach following their confrontation of him at a Target store, due to an alleged theft.
The chase ended at a cul-de-sac near Ocean Boulevard and 14th Place, where Conoscenti remained in his SUV for about 25 minutes before he exited the vehicle with a large stick in hand and fled police down the beach-access stairs. Deputies then shot at him with non-lethal rounds as he fled toward the beach where Long Beach officers then fatally shot him.
The review of the shooting comes weeks after the City of Long Beach approved paying $2million to settle a lawsuit brought upon by Conoscenti’s aunts.