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The mother of a teenager shot by LAPD filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles Monday (Sept. 28). Police shot 15-year-old Jamar Nicholson in February over a toy gun that his friend was carrying.

Nicholson and three friends were reportedly “rapping and dancing” in an South L.A. alley when the plainclothes officers opened fire, without identifying themselves.

The LAPD acknowledged that Nicholson wasn’t actually holding the fake gun, but defended the officers, who reportedly believed it was real and fired after orders to drop the weapon were disobeyed.  Nicholson’s mother says the the LAPD violated his civil rights by using excessive force.

Nicholson was shot in the upper back, and according to the suit, he was refused medical attention while being treated as criminal. Once hospitalized, Nicholson was said to be handcuffed to a bed, and questioned. He was not allowed to call his parents.

“It was egregious, excessive use of deadly force,” said John W. Harris the attorney representing the family. “The circumstances clearly did not warrant or justify the actions taken by the officers.”

Nicholson’s family went forward with the civil rights suits after a $20 million claim against the city was rejected.

Photo: screenshot