The family of “ER” actor Vanessa Marquez filed a federal suit Thursday alleging the officer-involved shooting of Marquez involved a civil rights violation.

The actor was killed in her home in 2018. Officers were called to the scene by paramedics and Marquez was having seizures when they arrived. Approximately 90 minutes into the situation, she aimed a BB gun at the police, which ultimately resulted in the shooting, said Sheriff’s Lt. Joe Mendoza after the incident.

The suit, brought against the city of South Pasadena, Calif., the former chief of police and some officers involved, claims that police caused the confrontation by ignoring paramedics’ decision that Marquez had the right to decline transportation to a hospital.

A friend made the call for paramedics to check on Marquez, with the suit specifying that the request was only for “medical assistance,” not for an armed group of officers to respond to the call.

The suit goes on to claim “Ms. Marquez was shot when she was not facing the officers, when the officers were a safe distance away from her, and when there was no imminent threat of serious injury or death to the officers or others.”

Police bodycam footage was released to the public earlier this year. According to ABC7, analysts magnified the video and found evidence of a hand holding what appears to be a gun, though later evidence proved it to be a replica.

“The situation called for de-escalation and there were multiple options available to the officers if they were in fact concerned for Ms. Marquez’s well-being,” the suit alleges. “There was no urgency to forcibly remove Ms. Marquez from her home. Instead of de-escalating the situation, more police officers stormed into her building.”
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office determined that in relation to an earlier suit filed in 2019 alleging wrongful death and battery, the officers acted in self defense. The new suit, however, alleges that the officers’ attempts to remove her from her home were unlawful.
The new suit also claims that city officials should have been aware that officers were improperly trained on de-escalation and the need to use less lethal weapons when someone does not pose a lethal threat. The family also alleges the officers used a “militaristic approach” similar to those used in response to violent crimes.
“The failure of a subject to comply with orders does not justify the use of lethal force,” the suit states.