The mother of ER and Stand and Deliver actress Vanessa Marquez is suing the city of South Pasadena and five police officers involved in a welfare check that ended with her daughter being shot dead. Delia McElfresh says officers were "negligent and reckless" after they were called to Marquez's residence in August 2018, CNN reports. Police said after the shooting that when a friend called them to the home, Marquez was experiencing seizures and appeared to be having mental health issues. They said officers opened fire after the 49-year-old armed herself with what appeared to be a handgun. It turned out to be a BB gun.
The wrongful death lawsuit disputes the version of events given by police, reports the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. The complaint says Marquez "did not feel safe" around the officers, who had decided to detain her for a psychiatric hold. "Their armed presence, coupled with the attempted removal of Ms. Marquez from her home against her will, was a militaristic, menacing, and threatening response to a frail and visibly debilitated woman who was exercising her right to remain in her home," the lawsuit states. After McElfresh filed an earlier claim last year, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said the officers were acting in self-defense. (Read more California stories.)