California’s Disability Organizations Respond to Costco Shooting – Call For Meeting with Riverside DA

November 14, 2019

Twenty-four California disability groups and over 140 Inland Empire residents are asking Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin to meet to review the DA’s decision not to charge the off-duty LA police officer who shot and killed Kenneth French, an unarmed man with disabilities, at a Costco in Corona.

Officer Salvador Sanchez fired 10 shots, hitting Kenneth French four times after Mr. French shoved Officer Sanchez while standing in line at the Costco. The officer also shot Mr. French’s parents, Russell and Paola French, as they tried to intervene and explain their son had a disability. Both parents required several surgeries.

“We want the family of Kenneth French to know they are not alone,” the disability community letter to DA Hesterin says.

“No member of the disability community should need to worry that shoving someone will be met with immediate shooting, especially by a trained police officer,” the letter continues.

Read the open letter to the DA here. The letter asked DA Hesterin to meet with the Inland Empire Developmental Disability Safety Task Force “to review the decision not to indict and to discuss how shootings might be prevented in the future.” It noted that the disability community has been a strong supporter of California law enforcement, “which plays a key role in protecting our most vulnerable members.”

The shooting death occurred June 14.

Contact: Beth Burt, Executive Director, Autism Society Inland Empire (951) 532-4462, bburt@ieautism.org

 

Read the letter to the DA below or view it as a PDF here.

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