Eric Rivera: Shot to Death and Run Over By LAPD Patrol Car


Crime scene of Eric Rivera's killing by police

Eric Rivera’s body remains trapped under a LAPD vehicle hours after he was shot to death by two Los Angeles police officers on June 6, 2017. (Source)

September 6, 2021 ~ By Shari Rose

Rivera, 20, was walking down the street when LAPD officers jumped out their car and shot him 7 times

Eric Rivera shot by LAPD in 2017

Eric Rivera in an undated family photo. (Source)

On June 6, 2017, Eric Rivera was walking down the street, near the corner of Wilmington Blvd and Denni St in Los Angeles when a patrol car sped up to him. Two officers with the LAPD Harbor Division, Arturo Urrutia and Daniel Ramirez, jumped out of their vehicle while it was still moving and started firing. 

They shot Rivera 7 times, and then their patrol car rolled on top of his body. 

A total of 7 seconds passed between the cops spotting Rivera and then firing. He was holding a plastic green and black squirt gun when he was killed. Rivera, 20, was pronounced dead at the scene.

His body was left on the street for hours. Eventually, police called in a crane to lift the patrol car off him so the coroner could take his body. 

Eric Rivera's body trapped under LAPD car

Eric Rivera’s body remains stuck under an LAPD patrol car hours after he was shot and killed by two police officers on June 6, 2017. (Source)

LAPD won’t release body cam footage, family files lawsuit

Officers Urrutia and Ramirez were wearing body cams during the shooting, but the LAPD will not release the footage. The dashcam on their car was not turned on. 

Eric Rivera’s parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit a few months after their son’s death. They also regularly attended the weekly meetings of the Los Angeles civilian oversight board to demand justice for their son. Eric Rivera’s father, Phillip Malik, said he learned of his son’s death while watching local news. 

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Valerie Rivera, Eric’s mother, spoke about her son in a press conference related to the lawsuit. “I’m never going to be able to get him back, but I can stand here today and fight for him,” she said. “I can speak for him.”

Eric Rivera's mother, Valerie Rivera

Eric’s mother, Valerie Rivera, speaks to reporters after her son’s death. (Source)

In March 2018, Valerie Rivera posted a livestream to Facebook that showed LAPD officers handcuffing Eric’s brothers and friends at the place where he died for a makeshift memorial. The police eventually released them without charges. 

Toy water gun in Eric Rivera's hand when shot

A close-up of the green fluorescent toy water gun in Eric Rivera’s possession when he was killed. (Source)

On April 10, 2018, the Board of Police Commissioners cleared Arturo Urrutia and Daniel Ramirez in Eric Rivera’s killing. No charges or reprimands for the officers who killed the 20-year-old and let their vehicle roll over his body. 

This story about Eric Rivera is part of a larger project that looks at recent police shootings of Latinos in Los Angeles.

More stories: Melyda Corado: Trader Joe’s Employee Killed By LAPD Gunfire in 2018

More stories: Jose Chavez: Killed By LAPD in South LA in 2018

More stories: Why the ‘Bad Apples’ Defense Falls Apart in Police Killings

More stories: Federal & Police Surveillance of Black Lives Matter Protesters

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Shari Rose

Shari Rose

Owner of Blurred Bylines

Shari Rose created Blurred Bylines to help bring stories from marginalized perspectives and experiences into the national conversation. A former journalist and current freelance SEO enthusiast, she does her best to combine both in her stories at BB. The articles she writes typically involve individuals or social movements that are uniquely American in their struggles, triumphs, and challenges. 💖💜💙✊🏼

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