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Part I of III: Dale Galipo & Team Mobilizes Against City of Los Angeles for Family Shot by Off-Duty Officer

It was the Friday evening before Father’s Day 2019. Salvador Sanchez, an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer with seven years of experience, shopped at a Costco in Corona, California, with his family. Meanwhile, Kenneth French, a mentally impaired 32-year-old, accompanied his parents to buy groceries at the same Costco. The two families converged at a food sampling table, with Sanchez in front. Unexpectedly, the non-verbal Kenneth hit Sanchez’s head from behind, causing him to fall to the floor and let go of his one-year-old son. Officer Sanchez drew his department-issued handgun and aimed his weapon at the family. Russel French and his wife, Paola, shielded Kenneth and begged Sanchez not to shoot, trying to explain that their son was mentally ill. Sanchez fired ten shots into the crowded store, six of them hitting the pleading family. The parents, Russel and Paola, were both shot in the back; Kenneth was killed.

When the local Corona police department arrived, Sanchez stayed on the ground and announced himself as an LAPD officer. He explained he thought there was an active shooter and was shot in the head, causing him to lose consciousness. However, investigating officers found no visible injuries on Sanchez. He asserted Kenneth was armed with a black handgun and fired at him. But police found no weapon at the scene.

Russel and Paola were taken to a local hospital and induced into a coma. A bullet had lodged in Russel’s back, lacerating his abdominal organs and requiring his kidney and gallbladder to be removed. Both Russel and Paola needed to use colostomy bags during their recovery. Insult added to injury when they awoke to find out Kenneth was in the morgue. When they were released home, every news outlet covered the shooting, forcing them to relive the devastating tragedy over and over again.

The French family retained Dale K. Galipo, Eric Valenzuela, and Renée Valentine Masongsong of the Law Offices of Dale K. Galipo, a Los Angeles firm specializing in civil rights and police misconduct cases.

Three months after the shooting, a Riverside County criminal grand jury returned with a “no bill” on September 24th, 2019. The French family and their attorneys were stunned, struggling to comprehend why the jury and district attorney declined to indict Officer Sanchez or bring forth any criminal charges.

A year later, Dale, Eric, and Renée filed their claims against the City of Los Angeles and Officer Sanchez, seeking restitution for the irrational, excessive force that maimed their clients and killed their son. Renée subpoenaed the investigative materials from the Corona Police Department and requested Costco to release the surveillance footage. Unfortunately, the audio and videos received failed to capture the shooting. Thus, Dale, Eric, and Renée contacted DK Global to reconstruct the incident and show what occurred.

The story continues in Part II.

Dale K. Galipo has been an attorney for 32 years and is regarded as one of the most accomplished civil rights lawyers. Initially focusing on personal injury and criminal defense, Dale shifted his specialty to representing those involved in civil rights cases against the police. In the past eight years, Dale has obtained nearly 100 seven-figure verdicts and settlements, prevailing in more than 50 jury trials.

Since 2012, Senior Associate Eric Valenzuela has specialized in litigating civil rights and police misconduct cases, contributing to numerous multi-million-dollar verdicts. Recently, Super Lawyers selected Eric as a “Rising Star” for successfully litigating complex, excessive force cases involving novel law issues.

For ten years, Renée Valentine Masongsong has dedicated her practice to litigating civil rights police excessive force cases, attaining numerous multi-million-dollar jury verdicts. In 2020 alone, Renée prevailed in holding the city of Los Angeles and West Covina responsible for serious police misconduct, securing her clients a combined $8 million in settlements and verdicts.


"It's always very difficult to get an animation admitted at trial and that's why it's so important to work with a company like DK Global who is really going to take the time – multiple phone calls, where we can call you guys up – to make sure everything is accurate."
Renée Valentine Masongsong – Law Offices of Dale K. Galipo
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