VIA – NBC LA
No Charges Against Officers Who Mistook Surfer for Rogue Cop Dorner in Manhunt
David Perdue was mistaken for a rogue ex-LAPD officer on a deadly rampage in February
By Jason Kandel
| Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014 | Updated 8:45 AM PST
The Los Angeles District Attorney announced that no criminal charges will be filed against the Torrance police officers who shot at a man during a weeklong Southern California manhunt for an ex-LAPD officer, lawyers for the man said on Tuesday.
David Perdue is the surfer who was on his way to catch some morning waves last Feb. 7 when he was stopped by Torrance police on the lookout for Christopher Dorner.
After he was cleared by the first set of officers, a second set of officers drove up the street, rammed Perdue’s vehicle and began shooting at his head. He was not hit.
“It was only the poor marksmanship of Torrance officer Brian McGee that led to Mr. Perdue being alive today,” said Perdue’s attorney Robert Sheahen.
In the report, the district attorney found that because McGee and his partner, Erin Sooper, were “anxious” and in a state of “panic,” their attempt to kill Mr. Perdue was justified, Sheahen said, adding that investigators never contacted Perdue nor his wife for their accounts about what happened.
“The accounts of McGee and Sooper, while riddled with factual fantasy, were accepted at face value,” Sheahen said. “Panic and anxiety have no place in a police force. This report piles prosecutorial gibberish on top of police lawlessness.”
The report does not affect the Perdue family lawsuit which is pending in federal court in Los Angeles. Trial is set for Aug. 12.
Perdue, who is white, was driving his black Honda pickup on his way to pick up a friend to go surfing when he was stopped by officers looking for Dorner, a black ex-Los Angeles police officer who had promised to bring “warfare” to his former department’s officers and their families.
The Perdue shooting was not the only case of mistaken identity that morning.
Two women delivering newspapers in Torrance were also shot at by Los Angeles police officers; the city reached a $4.2 million settlement with the women in April in addition to the $40,000 settlement for the loss of their pickup truck.
Authorities say Dorner killed four people, including two law enforcement officers, during a weeklong rampage that involved a massive manhunt and ended with his apparent suicide in a mountain cabin following a gunbattle with police.
At the time officers stopped Perdue, Dorner had already killed two people, and officers throughout the area were protecting people he named as targets. Authorities believed he was driving a pickup, although it was a different make and color than Perdue’s truck.
The news comes a day after another high-profile case involving a Southern California police department ended with a bombshell verdict that stunned a community in Orange County. Two ex-Fullerton police officers were acquitted in the beating death of Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old homeless man they confronted during a patrol call at a transit station.
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