CNS - The mother of a Postal Service worker who was shot to death by Inglewood police filed a federal lawsuit against the city and Police Department this week. Kevin Wicks, 38, was shot to death by Inglewood police Officer Brian Ragan at about 12:20 a.m. July 21 after four officers went to his door in response to a report of an argument involving a man and two women, police said. Police said Wicks, a 19-year employee of the U.S. Postal Service in West Los Angeles, answered the door with a gun in his hand and raised it toward the officers, prompting Inglewood police Officer Brian Ragan to open fire.
But relatives and community activists have decried the shooting, saying officers went to the wrong apartment in the complex at 124 N. Hillcrest Blvd. They also insisted that Ragan should not have opened fire, and if Wicks was holding a gun, it was likely only for his safety since he lived in a dangerous neighborhood and was responding to a knock on his door around midnight. In a lawsuit filed August 4, Wicks’ mother, Donna, called the shooting ``unconstitutional, without cause or justification, excessive and illegal and in violation of ... Kevin’s constitutional rights under the Fourth Amendment and plaintiff’s constitutional rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.’’
Ed Maddox, spokesman for the city, said he was unaware of the lawsuit and could not comment. Last week, Wicks’ 11-year-old daughter, Milan, and her mother filed a $25 million claim against the city. Maddox said that claim was being reviewed by city attorneys. Inglewood Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said after the shooting that a full probe would be conducted.
The Inglewood City Council voted last month to contract with the Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review, an agency created to provide investigative oversight of the Sheriff’s Department, to conduct a probe of the department. There were three fatal officer-involved shootings in Inglewood between May and July. Adding to the outrage over Wicks’ death was the knowledge that Ragan had been placed on leave in May after being involved in a shooting in which a 19- year-old man was killed at a restaurant near Crenshaw Boulevard and 85th Street.