“The Long Beach Police Department would not normally comment on an officer involved shooting at this point in the investigation, which is ongoing and incomplete.
“However, since a number of public statements made by Attorney Brian Claypool are inflammatory, completely inconsistent with the evidence, and grossly inaccurate in relation to the incident involving John Del Real Jr., the department feels compelled to respond,” the statement reads.
Claypool Thursday morning held a news conference to announce the family will file wrongful death and civil rights suits against police and the city.
The lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment.
Police also released a photo of the bat allegedly stuffed into Del Real’s waistband on the day he was shot.
As a rule, police agencies remain mum about shootings involving officers, leaving dissemination of findings to the relevant district attorney's office
According to a police statement at the time of the incident, a plainclothes officer conducting a narcotics investigation was in the area because of complaints about drug dealing in the neighborhood when Del Real approached him and a fight broke out.
This occurred about 5:15 p.m. in the 2300 block of East 17th Street, near the intersection with Junipero Avenue, police said.
Del Real allegedly punched the plainclothes officer, who had allegedly identified himself as a police officer.
Del Real then allegedly reached for his waistband, prompting the officer to open fire, Long Beach police Sgt. Aaron Eaton said.
Del Real was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Eaton said.
According to Thursday’s statement officers worked on Del Real in an effort to keep him alive, even as they waited for medics – whom police had called – to arrive.
The statement also claims Del Real had a history of domestic violence, theft, narcotics use, exhibiting a deadly weapon and parole violation.
The officer involved shooting was the third such shooting in five days that week.