SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A local attorney has filed a $10 million wrongful death claim against the Santa Barbara Police Department in the officer-involved fatal shooting of a man in September.
James Seagall-Gutierrez says he is representing the 18-year old daughter of Brian Tacedena.
He was backed by family members and community leaders at a press conference in front of City Hall this morning.
They have questions about the investigation into the shooting that took place just before midnight on De la Vina St. the night of September 1, 2013.
Tacadena's death was ruled a justifiable homicide by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's office, because he allegedly refused an officer's multiple orders to stop approaching while holding a military style knife.
"The Tacadena Family and community groups join to fight an ongoing epidemic of police brutality not only in Santa Barbara but throughout the state," said Segall-Gutierrez.
"We are demanding $10 million dollars. The claim for damages is in preparation of filing a wrongful death civil rights complaint in the Federal Central District Court of California," he said.
Tacadena's aunt Kathryn said, she wanted more answers about what happened the night of the shooting than what she has heard. "I heard from him all day he was in a good frame of mind and this is the result."
The day of the shooting, witnesses told police they had seen Tacadena action aggressively in public. But Segall-Gutierrez said, "he had no suicidal ideations or suicide by police officer because he was coming home to his family and he was excited and he was happy."
Several community leaders who are concerned about police conduct want a further investigation and will be bringing their message to Santa Barbara City Hall at Tuesday's meeting during the public comment period.
The claim was filed with the city clerk's office. Acting City Attorney Sarah J. Knecht says the claim will be reviewed. Normally these issues are handled with a closed session of the city council.
A response to the Tacadena family is expected in 45 days.