LONG BEACH, Calif. (NewsNation Now) — The family of an 18-year-old woman who was left brain dead after being shot by a Southern California school safety officer says she will be taken off life support as early as Monday.
Mona Rodriguez was involved in a fight last week in a parking lot near Millikan High School, then got into the passenger seat of a car. As the car sped away, the officer began shooting, striking Rodriguez in the back of the head, police spokesperson Arantxa Chavarria said.
Now, her family wants to know why the officer has not been been criminally charged for his actions. Cellphone video captured the moment of impact.
“There was no imminent threat on that afternoon,” said Luis Carrillo, an attorney for Rodriguez’s family. “The family wants justice. The family wants the arrest of this criminal.”
“There’s so many officers that just get a freaking slap in the hand and that’s it,” said Oscar Rodriguez, Mona’s brother. “And that’s not right.”
Mona’s family say they will be donating all of her organs.
Rafeul Chowdhury, the father of Rodriguez’s 5-month-old son, said he was driving the car and that his 16-year-old brother was in the back seat when the shots were fired. He said no one in the car was armed.
School safety officers are not permitted to fire at a moving vehicle or at fleeing suspects, according to a use-of-force policy from Long Beach Unified School District’s school safety office. Firearms may be discharged only when reasonably necessary and justified under the circumstances, such as self-defense and the protection of others, the policy states.
Long Beach Unified Superintendent Jill Baker released a statement that says, in part:
“Our school safety officers are hired to protect the physical safety of our staff and students on and around campuses. They are highly trained and held accountable to the established standards in their profession. Those standards will be used to assess the incident.”Superintendent Jill Baker
At last check, the school safety officer involved is on administrative leave. Long Beach police and the Los Angeles County district attorney are investigating.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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