OAKLAND, Calif. - An Oakland attorney on Monday filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against three California Highway Patrol officers who shot and killed a stolen car suspect last month.
Civil rights attorney John Burris filed the suit on behalf of Erik Salgado and his girlfriend Brianna Colombo.
Colombo was pregnant at the time she was also shot during this incident. Colombo survived, but her unborn child did not as a result of this shooting, Burris said.
CHP said they shot Salgado after he rammed a patrol car during a traffic stop in East Oakland on June 6.
Burris said Salgado, who was 23, was shot as many as many as 40 times with high-powered rifles.
"The number of shots fired, was enough in my view to kill a militia of terrorists," said Burris. "It was a massacre. The young people were sitting ducks as they sat in their cars. It was a complete overkill for the type of case involved, which essentially as far as we know was a stolen car."
A family member who only identified herself as Salgado's step sister said CHP was dehumanizing and criminalizing her brother to justify their actions. She said CHP officers involved in this case should provide their records and said they may have killed others in the past and continue to patrol the streets. "We want their records. Where's their rap sheet at?" she said.
The announcement of the lawsuit and the news conference was held on what would have been Salgado's 24th birthday. Family members said they didn't have the chance to see if Salgado's girlfriend's unborn baby was a boy or a girl.
Salgado's family wants CHP to release the names of the officers involved and video of the shooting.