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Two LA Sheriff's Deputies Fired For Killing Unarmed Man in Vehicle

Two sheriff’s deputies in Louisiana were arrested and fired after officials said they fatally shot an unarmed man inside a parked vehicle last week. Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto III said the officers’ use of force “was not justified” after they shot Daniel Valle, during a standoff in Marrero, La., south of New Orleans. The shooting happened around 2 a.m. Wednesday, when the police, responding to a noise complaint in the area, found Vallee inside a vehicle parked in front of a “known crack house,” the sheriff said. Officers repeatedly ordered Vallee, 34, to exit the vehicle, but he refused. During the standoff, which lasted 12 minutes, Vallee locked the doors and eventually started the vehicle’s engine. “That, of course, escalated the situation,” Lopinto said. “Numerous of my deputies drew their weapons at that point in time, expecting him to try to take off.”

During the encounter, Vallee raised his hands, but at one point dropped them, hitting the vehicle’s horn. “My opinion, that horn, whether it scares my deputy or whether my deputy reacts to the shot of the horn, ends up firing his weapon,” the sheriff said. “The second deputy fired his weapons reacting to that gunfire.” The fired officers were Isaac Hughes, 29, and Johnathan Louis, 35. Each faces one count of manslaughter. "Unfortunately, the use of force in this situation was not justified,” Lopinto said, while adding that he thought the shooting was “certainly not intentional.” Vallee was "a struggling addict. That doesn’t mean he should have been shot and killed in the manner that he was,” his aunt, Tara Phillips, told Nola.com.

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