Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against City of Long Beach in 2012 Deadly Officer-Involved Shooting Case

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the twin brother of a man fatally shot by Long Beach police officers after an armed robbery in August 2012.

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Judge Michael P. Vicencia ordered judgment in favor of the City of Long Beach, finding the officers’ use of deadly force reasonable, according to a release from the city attorney’s office.

“This was a good result for the city,” City Attorney Charles Parkin said in a statement. “Our police officers reacted to a life-threatening situation, and the court found they acted reasonably.”

Long Beach resident Jonte House was one of three suspects in a late night armed robbery at a 24-hour Rite-Aid, located at 4402 Atlantic Avenue, in August 2012, according to Deputy City Attorney Howard Russell, who handled the case. The suspects allegedly fled the crime scene in a vehicle that was identified by police shortly after.

“During the pursuit, one or more suspects fired gunshots from the vehicle at the officers,” Russell said. “When the police stopped and approached the car, Jonte House disobeyed police officers’ commands to keep his hands up and in view, and instead lowered his hands to his waist.”

Police responded by firing at House.


House’s brother Donte House, filed the lawsuit in 2013 alleging the city was responsible for his twin brother’s death. Donte, who represented himself in the action, named the city and the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) as defendants.

The case will not be tried before a jury by granting the summary judgment motion, city attorney officials stated. As the prevailing party in this action, the city is entitled under state law to have the plaintiff pay the city’s costs of suit.

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