A former #Walgreens #securityguard is charged with #murder after prosecutors say he shot and killed a #homeless man he accused of #shoplifting from the store last month.
#DonaldVincentCiotaII, 28, is facing one count of murder for the Dec. 2 confrontation that left 21-year-old #JonathanHart dead, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office announced Monday. In a press release, prosecutors said Ciota approached Hart inside the Hollywood, Calif., store after suspecting him of stealing a water flavoring product priced at $2.99. The two men got into a physical altercation, after which Ciota drew his gun and fatally shot Hart in the back as he fled.
Hart, who is believed to have been homeless, was struck in the neck, his family’s attorney, Carl Douglas said. He was transported to a nearby hospital where he later died.
“Jonathan Hart was profiled because he was homeless,” Douglas said at a news conference Monday. “He was harassed because he was gay. And he was shot because he was Black.”
Douglas said the Hart family intends to file a $525 million wrongful death suit against Walgreens.
“I gave this #family a pledge that Jonathan Hart will not have died in vain,” the family’s attorney told reporters days after the shooting. “Walgreens, the blood of Jonathan Hart is on your hands.” Video from inside the store that night shows Ciota standing over Hart’s wounded body and several broken bottles of red wine as he’s on the phone. Hart’s friend Aaliyah Haughto told KTLA that Hart was on his way to the front register to pay for the items he was carrying when the chaos unfolded.
“A lot of awful words were exchanged, and we were then followed to the end of the store to complete our transaction,” she recalled. “An altercation broke out again, a scuffle happened [and] shoves were met. Then, “the security guard pulled out his weapon and fired.”
In a statement, Walgreens expressed “deep concern about this incident and the loss of life,” and said it’s cooperating with law enforcement in their investigation. The company added that it has severed ties with the security company Ciota was employed with.
#foodforthought #rbg #problack #panafrican #blackexcellence