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Family Of Man Killed In Riverside County Sheriff Custody To Launch Legal Action

Benjamin Purper

The family of a man killed in police custody after a violent arrest in a Jurupa Valley grocery store announced today that it is initiating a legal action against the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Ernie Serrano died on December 15 after a confrontation with Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies in a Stater Bros. store in Jurupa Valley.

At a Tuesday press conference, Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco released video regarding Serrano’s death, and said he offered condolences to the Serrano family.

“I know this is a difficult time for them and nothing I can say will make it better for them. However, as the sheriff of Riverside County, I want to make it clear to the public that this office is committed to transparency and a full investigation into the death of Ernie Serrano. I want to make it very clear, Mr. Serrano’s death is a tragic event for all of us," Bianco said.

Several investigations are underway, including from the Riverside District Attorney’s Office.

Now, Ernie Serrano’s family is launching a legal action against the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and several other entities, including Stater Bros.

There have been calls for Sheriff Bianco to resign following this incident.

Faraz Rizvi is with the Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice.

"We’re standing in solidarity with the family, we’re standing in solidarity with the community. We urge total transparency during this investigation and we urge that the Sheriff’s Department be held accountable for their actions," Rizvi says.

Attorneys for Serrano’s family said legal action could be filed within days.