SAN DIEGO (AP) - The parents of a 37-year-old male dancer shot to death by San Diego Harbor Police have filed claims seeking $20 million from the department and the officer who pulled the trigger.
Attorney Brian Claypool mailed the claims Wednesday on behalf of
Alan and Nicole Hirschfield. The claims are the first step toward filing a lawsuit.
Steven Hirschfield, of West Hollywood, was dancing on a harbor cruise ship chartered for about 900 mostly male revelers on July 19 as part of the weekend's gay pride celebrations.
Hirschfield jumped from the ship and, according to police, fought with officers sent on a boat to rescue him. Officer Clyde Williams shot him in the chest after Hirschfield reached for another officer's pistol, police said.
Claypool contends that Williams killed Hirschfield without legal
"If we don't file a lawsuit, we'll never be able to reconstruct the shooting," Claypool said.
Claypool insists Hirschfield was shot in the back, even though his death certificate corroborates the police claim that he was shot in the chest.
Claypool also is making anti-gay accusations against harbor police Chief Kirk Sanfilippo, who is not commenting on them.
The Harbor Police are standing behind their officers.
"We believe they acted appropriately," spokesman John Gilmore
Information from: The San Diego Union-Tribune,
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