Family of Dennis “Todd” Rogers Who Was Killed by Police File Federal Lawsuits Against L.A. County

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The children and mother of a man killed by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies on March 7 outside a West L.A. gym, have filed two federal lawsuits against the county, the department and the deputies involved.

Dennis “Todd” Rogers was a 41-year-old black man who had earned a business and accounting degree at the University of Houston and worked as an accountant in Houston before he lost that job, divorced and moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, his mother, Janet Williams, said in an interview this spring.

Rogers suffered from bipolar disorder, his mother said, but managed it through medication. Two days before he died, Rogers had called her from a Salvation Army shelter and said someone had taken his car, which contained all his belongings, including his medication and cellphone.

It’s not clear if his car was towed, or stolen, said Sheriff’s Lt. Joe Mendoza.

Whatever the case, Rogers was acting strangely the night he died. Strangely enough that deputies called for a sheriff’s mental evaluation team.

But there were only two teams working countywide that night, Mendoza said. Both were tied up on other cases, and the closest team was a 30-minute drive away.

The two lawsuits, one filed by Williams today and the other by Rogers’ two unnamed minor children and his adult son, Dennis Todd Rogers Jr., accuse the county of depriving them of their constitutional rights of a relationship with Rogers and of not properly training and supervising deputies.

The children’s lawsuit, filed July 14, also alleges that the deputies wrongfully restrained Rogers and denied him the immediate medical care he needed for his mental illness.

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