Law of the Jungle Rules [sovereign immunity] and Exemptions from Morality Only Apply to Police Officers in their Relations with People. From [HERE] and [HERE] A white security guard who police say shot and killed a 21-year-old homeless Black man earlier this month in Hollywood was charged with murder by the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office Monday.
Donald Vincent Ciota, 28, of Covina faces one count of murder with an allegation that he used a firearm as a deadly weapon. Ciota shot and killed Jonathan Hart inside a Walgreens at Vine Street and Sunset Boulevard on Dec. 2, authorities said.
Ciota is being held on $3 million bail. If convicted, he faces a possible maximum sentence of 50 years to life in state prison.
"We must turn to responsibility of Walgreens because the death of Jonathan Hart has left blood on the hands of executives of Walgreens," he said
Ciota suspected Hart of shoplifting, and the two got into a physical altercation. Ciota pulled his firearm and fatally shot Hart in the back as he ran away, prosecutors said.
Hart died from a gunshot wound to the neck, according to a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.
Family attorney Carl Douglas said Hart was unarmed and was not shoplifting that night. Detectives told family members that Hart had a California ID card in his hand at the time of his death.
The attorney said Hart had gotten into a confrontation earlier that night with the same security guard and had spoken with the store manager before continuing to shop.
Douglas said Monday that Hart’s family was “heartened and encouraged” that Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey’s office has charged Ciota.
Douglas said Hart’s family is planning to file a $525 million wrongful-death suit against Walgreens. Douglas said the family is calling for a boycott of Walgreens until armed guards are removed from their stores.
"We must turn to responsibility of Walgreens because the death of Jonathan Hart has left blood on the hands of executives of Walgreens," he said.
Hart was profiled, harassed and ultimately shot because he was a homeless, gay black man, the lawyer said.
Attorney Mark Geragos, who represents Ciota, said there is video leading up to the shooting that needs to be seen and argues there is no way this should be a murder case.
"My guy was ex-military police, he's a veteran," Geragos said. "If this were a police officer, they would be lauding him, let alone filing murder charges. It's ridiculous. He was assaulted, he defended himself."
Douglas argued the right people have seen the video, and they decided to file murder charges against Ciota.
"I've not yet seen the video, so it would be premature for me to comment substantively. What I do know is that Jackie Lacey has seen the video, what I do know is police investigators have seen the video," Douglas added.
He may have a point here about the video upon consideration of the fact that Lacey never files charges against cops. More than 200 deaths have occurred at the hands of law enforcement since Lacey took office in 2012, yet not one officer has been charged. [MORE] However, Ciota is not a cop or government actor and naturally different standards apply to mere mortals.
Ciota is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday, according to a spokesman for the district attorney’s office. His bail is set at $3 million. If convicted as charged, he faces a maximum sentence of 50 years to life in prison.