On Dec. 2, 2018, Donald Ciota II, a Walgreens security guard, fatally shot 21-year-old Jonathan Hart.
What We Know:
- Hart was shot in the back while fleeing Ciota who suspected him of shoplifting from a Hollywood Walgreens.
- Ciota was terminated and charged with one count of murder for the shooting. He pled not guilty to the charge in January.
- Ciota’s lawyer, Mark Geragos, told NBC News that the shooting was in self-defense. He claimed the guard was “defending the customers, the store and himself.”
- On April 26, Hart’s sister filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Ciota, Walgreens and the security company that employed Ciota. She believes he was targeted because he was black, gay and homeless.
- According to the lawsuit, Ciota was “aggressive and hostile” toward Hart and his friends when he approached them while they were browsing the store. They complained to a cashier about the security guard’s behavior and the next encounter they had with Ciota was fatal for Jonathan.
- Walgreens released a statement in response to the suit denying racial profiling, stating that it is “contrary to our deep commitment to inclusive diversity.”
Donald Ciota II will appear in court again on May 22, 2019.