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L.A. Sued Over Police Shooting

September 30, 1999

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Lawyers for a 2-year-old girl whose father was shot by police and framed for assault have filed a $20 million claim against the city, alleging negligence and conspiracy.

Javier Ovando spent more than two years in prison on false charges, depriving his daughter, Destiny Ovando, of even meeting him, attorney Gregory Smith said Wednesday.

``Everybody who has a child knows that the first three years of a child’s life are the most important time for bonding,″ Smith said. ``I think she’s going to suffer greatly from that.″

Spokesmen for the city and the Los Angeles Police Department declined to comment. The city has 45 days to review the claim, which was filed Tuesday. If it rejects it, the girl’s lawyers can sue.

``We want to set an example that law enforcement officers are going to pay attention to,″ Smith said.

Ovando and his daughter met for the first time Wednesday, KCBS-TV reported. No details were available, and Smith did not immediately return a message left at his office.

Ovando was released from prison two weeks ago after prosecutors, investigating corruption in an LAPD anti-gang unit, discovered evidence that the officers had planted a gun on Ovando and lied about the events leading up to his arrest.

The shooting left Ovando paralyzed from the waist down.

One officer has been fired and 11 others put on leave as a result of the corruption investigation.

Destiny’s mother, Monique Valenzuela, is no longer involved with Ovando but hopes that her daughter will form a relationship with him. The mother and Ovando have spoken once on the phone since his release.

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