Mother of Vanessa Marquez files $20 million wrongful death lawsuit against South Pasadena

Photo courtesy of Alice S. Hall / NBCU Photo Bank

Delia McElfresh, the mother of actress Vanessa Marquez, announced a $20 million dollar wrongful death lawsuit against the City of South Pasadena in a press conference Wednesday, Feb. 20. Marquez was killed in an officer-involved shooting after the South Pasadena Police Department responded to a welfare check at her home last August.

McElfresh’s attorneys, Vicki Sarmiento and Dale Galipo, claim that the responding officers acted with poor judgement and overreacted during the incident. With little information made available to the public almost six months after the shooting, Sarmiento aims to bring closure and clarity to Marquez’s family and friends.

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and Los Angeles County District Attorney are both investigating Marquez’s death. South Pasadena Public Information Officer John Pope stated that no information will be released until after the investigation is completed.

Friends, family, and supporters of Marquez have been vocal in the months since her death, criticizing the city and police department for miscommunication in police reports and public information.

“It’s really important that there is accountability and justice and to know the officers who shot her,” Marquez’s friend Kelly Stewart said. “It’s so terrible to know somebody who was killed like that and have no information on what happened to her.”

This is a developing story; updates will be posted continuously as more information is released.

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