If you were a witness and/or have any information regarding the events of June 24th in the parking lot behind Chipotle Restaurant in Studio City (Laurel Canyon & Ventura Blvds), please contact us via email: justiceforzac@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Happy Birthday, Zac. We miss you so very much.

His mother has posted the following message on the In Memory of Zac Champommier Facebook group page:

Today would have been Zac's 22nd birthday. He brought so much joy to my life in the 18 years he was here. I am truly blessed to have had him as my son. Happy birthday my love.
In his memory, I am asking that you write to the District Attorney's Office and ask that they reopen the case and press charges. Since the trial, it has become even more clear that criminal charges need to be filed against Peter "Taylor" LoPresti. The DA declined to file charges, originally, based on false information.
This DEA agent needs to be taken off the streets. As far as I know, he has not even been reprimanded, although the Civil ruling holds the DEA responsible for battery against Zac because of their employee. That is why there are monetary damages. The DEA has appealed and the process could take up to another year from now to get resolved. However, there is no need to wait for criminal charges. The complete ruling can be read at http://justiceforzac.blogspot.com (click here to read the ruling in its entirety-j.v.)
The address is: 
Los Angeles County District Attorney
Attn: Deputy DA Shannon Presby
System Integrity Division
210 W. Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012 
Please share this information and ask others to do the same. We still need justice for Zac. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

We love you, Carol and are thinking of you and Zac today.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

Click here to read the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law in its entirety. It is absolutely heartbreaking.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Ruling

Media surrounds Carol Champommier outside the U.S. Courthouse.

The Honorable Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald issued his ruling at 11:00 a.m. today.

His judgement was in favor of plaintiff Carol Champommier in her wrongful death suit against the United States. 

We hope to link to or post his ruling in its entirety as soon as it is available.


Mother of teen fatally shot by DEA calls for policy changes - LAT

Band Geeks: 1  United States of America: 0 - Valley of the Doll

Judge awards $3 million in death of Granada Hills teen shot by DEA agent - DN

What Was it Like When Zac Had His Day in Court - StudioCityPatch

Justice for Zac Champommier - Joseph Mailander

Thursday, August 8, 2013

We're almost there

We have a date. Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald has set Wednesday, August 21, 2013 to announce his verdict in the case of Champommier v. United States of America. Here is the statement from Zac's mother, Carol:

The VERDICT is close at hand. The judge has ordered a hearing to give his verdict instead of simply issuing a written ruling in Champommier v. United States of America.
The Court sets the hearing re FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW for 8/21/2013 at 11:00 AM before Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald.
United States District Court on Spring Street in Los Angeles - 16th floor - Courtroom 1600.
The hearing will take approximately 20 minutes. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The waiting is almost over. It seems like it's been forever but we're almost there. Keep the faith.

Directions to the courthouse: 

Approaching Downtown on the Northbound 101 Freeway: Travel north on the 101 Freeway. Exit on Alameda Street and turn left. Go two blocks and turn right on Temple Street. Go two blocks and make a right on Main Street. Courthouse is on your left hand side. 

Approaching Downtown on the Southbound 101 Freeway: Travel south on the 101 Freeway. Exit on Temple Street and turn left. Go four stop lights to Spring Street. The courthouse is located on the northeast corner of Temple and Spring Street. 

Parking: One hour metered parking is available on Temple Street between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. There are also parking lots available at the following locations: Spring St. and Arcadia St. (one block from courthouse) Main St. and Arcadia St. (one block from courthouse) Los Angeles Mall Parking Lot - Los Angeles St. and Temple St. (underground parking, enter on Los Angeles St., across the street from courthouse) Main St. and Macy St. (across from Olvera Street, 2 blocks from courthouse)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Three years

So yeah... it's been three years today since Zachary Champommier was killed by undercover DEA agents, who wore not one stitch of flaw (typo, it stays) enforcement identification anywhere, while he drove through a public parking lot, at 9:30 at night, behind a crowded shopping center with restaurants, a bank and a grocery store on a Thursday night in June in Studio City, California.

Zac had just graduated from Granada Hills Charter High School, with honors I might add, two weeks before he was killed. He was a beloved member in his community of Porter Ranch, California. He was the son of a single mother, a school teacher at an elementary school and her only child. He played in the band at Nobel Middle School and then for the Highlanders Marching Band at GHCHS and he also indulged his love of classic music by playing viola in the school's orchestra. I cannot begin to tell how horribly this effected so many people here... especially his young friends from high school, not to mention the many adults (even back to his kindergarten teacher) all who loved him to the end of his life. He was the kid we all wanted our own children to be like. He was that special. He really was.

Let me tell you what I know thus far: Zac was in that parking lot looking to meet up with a friend he had met online. Crime? No. It's the twenty-first century, this his how people meet nowadays. Have I ever met up with anyone I've only ever communicated with online? Absolutely. Quite often. With local writers, artists, politicians, local community leaders... I could go on and on.

While driving at a slow speed (accident reconstruction experts for both sides of the lawsuit agreed... Zac was going no more than 6-10ish miles an hour through the parking lot) looking for his new friend, there was an altercation on the other side of the parking lot. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Zac, a multi-jurisdictional task force made up of LAPD, LA Sheriff's and the DEA were concluding an undercover bust and decided to "debrief" in a public parking lot swarming with pedestrians. They were in unmarked cars, in plain clothes and did not tape off the area to alert the public they were there. They had in their possession confiscated weapons, money and I'm not sure if there were drugs there or not. These law enforcement officers in all their hyped up state after serving warrants and doing their thing, decided to roust a guy walking through the public parking lot because they thought he looked "suspicious." Fair enough, I guess. One officer who weighed in at 240 lbs. was running (lumbering, is more like it) through the parking lot towards this "suspicious" guy when he ran right into Zac's car as Zac was inching closer to whatever it was that was going on.

The officer tried to do a Starsky and Hutch move over the car, but apparently, he fell down. Another DEA officer on the other side looked over at just that moment, saw Zac in his car there and the overweight officer on the ground and assumed Zac hit him with his car. Accident experts agreed... Zac stopped his car right after that, and the trajectory of the bullets pulled from his body (he was shot a total of six times. Six times.) showed that he stopped and turned his body back to see what the hell had just happened and that is when the DEA agent (standing to the side of Zac, not in front of him where he was in danger of getting ran over) pointed his gun at Zac and shot him in cold blood. Just. Like. That. Boom.

These law enforcement officers then came up with a brilliant cover: "Let's say Zac was a 'drug suspect' and he came barreling towards us in his car! Yeah, that's the ticket!" But those of us who knew Zac knew that this was a load of malarkey. The evidence, and you can read the fabulous trial summaries in blog posts below, showed us a different reality.

Reality No.1: There were no marks, dents, palm prints or anything else from that 240 lb officer ANYWHERE on the hood of Zac's car that supposedly struck the officer and sent him flying into the air and landing on Zac's hood. Seriously. Not one freaking baby dent or any kind of hand print.

Reality No. 2: And how seriously hurt was this officer who went flying into the air after being struck by a car going maybe 6 mph in the parking lot? Pffft... please. Not a scratch on him. Maybe a scratch from him hitting the ground after he tripped. But not from being struck "by a speeding vehicle."

Reality No. 3: Where was the justification of lethal force here? There wasn't. There isn't. There will never be. Please... read the trial summaries for the full picture of how awful these law enforcement officers acted.

We are hoping for a judgement from the Honorable Judge Michael Fitzgerald soon. We'll keep you posted. Keep a good thought for us... and for Zac.  He didn't deserve to die that way. None of us do.

We miss you, Zac.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

He was such a great kid. Those of us who were lucky enough to know him know this. With every fiber of our beings we know this. And that's why we're still here.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Summary of Closing Arguments

Seven days from now will mark the third anniversary of Zac Champommier's killing at the hands of plainclothes undercover law enforcement officers, as he drove through a public parking lot in Studio City. 

Below is an excellent summary provided by the growing-in-numbers activist group, United Citizens Against Police Violence.

The following is copied from the United Citizens Against Police Violence page on Facebook:

Champommier Trial Update: Closing Arguments (May 23, 2013)

The judge appeared to be looking at the events that transpired in the killing of Zachary Champommier by plainsclothes members of a multi-jurisdictional task in the light most favorable to Zac's killer. The standard set by Graham v. Conner essentially holds that Zac's killer had to have acted as a reasonable officer would have acted under similar circumstances.

In a nutshell, however, the judge appeared to be begging attorneys for the United States of America to highlight how the actions of Zac's killer could be deemed "reasonable":

1. The judge asked defense council to explain and support how Deputy's position was improved by the killing of the Champommier as he sat behind the steering wheel of his Toyota Corolla (Champommier was alleged to have struck Deputy intentionally, necessitating the use of deadly force. However, if Deputy was on Zac's hood when Agent shot at Zac, Deputy's position would arguably have been worsened by not only the risk of being shot but also by having the car turn into a runaway vehicle by the killing of the driver. If, however, Deputy was no longer on the hood when Zac was shot, wouldn't that be more akin to retaliation for having allegedly struck Deputy?)

2. Defense attorneys find themselves in the proverbial pickle as to the calculus of time taken for Agent (Zac's killer) to perceive the event, formulate the plan to use deadly force, draw his weapon, and execute his plan to use deadly force. If time is decreased, as was argued by defense when they claimed that Zac was traveling at a high rate of speed, Agent had less time to consider his actions. Here, less time equates with less reasonableness. If, however, the calculus of time is added to the notion that there was little or no risk presented to officers by Zac's car becomes more viable because that means Zac's car would have been stopped or nearly stopped for Zac's killer to have been able to shoot the first, and fatal shot while facing the driver's side door. Thus, the notion of retaliation for having struck Deputy becomes bolstered.

3. Judge stated that he had considered utilizing an "advisory jury" to aid in making some determinations in the case. (One may rightfully speculate that this move may be to get an objective understanding and determination of damages amounts)

Decision forthcoming. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Closing Arguments

A message from Zac's mother, Carol:

Thursday May 23rd 9:00 AM will be the last opportunity to show our support and love for Zac in court. These are closing arguments. The last day before the judge makes his final ruling and decision. I would love to see as many of Zac's friends there as possible. We need to send a clear message to the judge that his decision matters to this community. Please spread the word so everyone knows about the importance of this day. I continue to pray justice will prevail!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Trial Update Day Seven

All updates are from the United Citizens Against Police Violence page on Facebook.

Champommier Trial Update – Day Seven

(Note: Day Six addendum- US also calls government policy expert (“Policy”) to testify. Plaintiffs’ attorneys call into question the legitimacy of the stop/detention of Citizen by task force members. When asked if Policy had ever mistaken another vehicle for his own when walking through a parking lot, Policy replied, “No. I know my own car”.)

United States calls expert on accident reconstruction who testifies that the skid marks testified to by Plaintiffs’ accident reconstruction expert as being caused by sudden engagement of the braking system by Champommier were actually tire marks caused by acceleration (i.e., of the “burning rubber” type).

The United States rests.

Judge instructs all attorneys as to the parameters of briefs to be generated arguing the points of law involved in the case of Champommier vs. United States of America (It is likely that the applicable standard set out in Graham v. Conner will be one of the aforementioned points of law). 

Interestingly, Judge appears to indicate that the shots fired by Champommier’s killer (DEA Agent) that were subsequent to the first shot (the only bullet to have struck Champommier and the shot responsible for his death) could, under the circumstances of this case, be deemed unreasonable. 

(It appears to this writer a matter of logic that emphasis be placed on the first shot for several reasons: Specifically, related to the instant case, it is the shot that killed Champommier. However, the reasonableness of the first shot is relevant in many deadly force cases involving gunfire because subsequent shots by other officers appear virtually immune to scrutiny, barring conclusive evidence to the contrary, in that they can often be deemed to have been rendered in defense of others by those officers simply saying that they were unsure whether or not that initial shot originated with the suspect. Thus, it appears that in cases where the officer firing the initial shot, and continues shooting, that officer is likely to have all shots scrutinized for their reasonableness.) 

Stay tuned....

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Trial Update Day Six

All updates from the United Citizens Against Police Violence page on Facebook.

Champommier Trial Update- Day Six

United States continues with its case-in-chief calling IRS Agent who was at the scene when Champommier was killed by DEA Agent as a constituent part of the "multi-jurisdictional task force". IRS Agent testified as to her position when the shooting began. IRS Agent testified that she had been on the side of Champommier's car opposite the shooter and in the general direction that the initial shots were fired by DEA Agent (i.e., generally, Champommier's 1 to 5 o'clock position). Plaintiffs' attorneys question IRS Agent as to her initial deposition, which appeared to contain inconsistencies as to whether she indicated Champommier's car had stopped. IRS Agent clarified that she meant to say Champommier's car was traveling at a constant speed.

Sheriff's Detective ("SD"), who was at the scene when Champommier was killed by DEA Agent, is called by the United States. SD, thus far, appears to be the only law enforcement official, other than DEA Agent, to testify to DEA Agent's position at the time Champommier was shot. SD testified that DEA Agent was nearer the group of law enforcement personnel detaining Citizen. This appears to contradict DEA Agent's testimony that he was "8 to 10 feet in front of" Champommier's car when Deputy was allegedly struck by Champommier's car.

It is anticipated that the United States will call an expert witness tomorrow and will subsequently rest their case-in-chief.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Trial Update Day Five

All updates are from the United Citizens Against Police Violence page on Facebook.

Champommier Trial Update- Day Five

Afternoon session only: Plaintiffs’ attorneys call Champommier’s stepmother who details the nature of her and her husband’s (Champommier’s biological father) relationship.

Plaintiffs next call Champommier’s father who details the nature of his relationship with his son, Zachary, including that Zachary served as his Best Man at the wedding to his second wife.

Plaintiffs call Champommier’s mother, Carol, who goes into great detail regarding the relationship that she shared with her son, Zachary, including Mothers Day cards Zachary had written to her and many photographs indicating the extent of their relationship. To quote decedent’s mother, “Zac was my past, present, and future”.

Plaintiffs rest their case-in-chief.

Attorneys representing the United States of America begin their case-in-chief by seeking to have the case dismissed. Judge cites decision by previous judge in earlier ruling on motion for summary judgment brought by the United States, which was denied. Thus, judge denied motion.

Government seeks to have report by ballistics expert for plaintiffs ruled inadmissible. Judge does not rule, but defers ruling until a later date.

United States calls first witness Special Agent (“SA”) who, in addition to Agent (Champommier’s killer), represented Drug Enforcement Administration as part of the “multi-jurisdictional task force” assembled in the parking area the evening Champommier was killed.

SA admits that use of public areas for debriefings is “common practice”. SA details that he was positioned at the north end of the parking area. Despite earlier deposition testimony, taken within the first few days after Champommier’s killing, that SA did not draw his weapon SA now testifies that he drew his weapon and trained it on Champommier immediately following the alleged contact between Champommier’s car and Deputy. SA testifies that since his fellow agents were in the line of his prospective fire, SA did not shoot. SA testified that Deputy, gun drawn and trained on not only Citizen but also his fellow task force agents detaining Citizen, announced himself as law enforcement to Citizen and ordered Citizen to “get on the ground”.

SA testifies that he could not identify Agent's exact position despite facing the area containing Agent and being within several feet of Agent. SA testifies to specific details about task force members who were beyond Agent and who were detaining Citizen, including which person stood where and which part of Citizen's person they were in contact with.

SA testifies that he did not see Champommier’s car stop. SA testifies that the calculus of time from the alleged contact by Champommier’s car with Deputy until the shots ceased was approximately “three to five seconds” and that the time from the alleged contact between Deputy and Champommier’s car and the first shot was approximately “two seconds”.

SA testifies that verbal warnings were indeed given to Champommier to “stop-stop-stop”. These verbal warnings, however, were given after Zachary had been fatally shot by Agent, a member of the plainclothes “multi-jurisdictional task force” assembled in a public parking lot in a busy, upscale neighborhood where the public had no notice of law enforcement presence.

Trial recesses until Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at which time the United States is anticipated to present additional testimony from witnesses and expert testimony. It is anticipated that the United States will rest their case-in-chief tomorrow.

Stay tuned....

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Update from Zac's Mom

All updates are taken from the United Citizens Against Police Violence page on Facebook.

From Carol Champommier (Zac's mom):

"The trial will continue tomorrow, April 1, from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm. Tuesday will be from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. So far, we have learned that all bullets were fired from positions of safety for the officers. There is no physical evidence that a pedestrian was ever on the car. There were no injuries to ANY officer, including the deputy allegedly struck by Zac's car. Forensic evidence has shown that Zac was stopped or barely moving when he was killed. There was NO verbal or any other kind of warning given before taking his life. We will continue to fight for justice."

Trial Update

All updates are from the United Citizens Against Police Violence page on Facebook.

Champommier Trial Update: 

The case of Champommier v. United States of America began on Tuesday, March 26th, and will resume MONDAY, April 1st, at 1:15 PM. The case will be heard in Judge Michael Fitzgerald's Courtroom, 16th floor, rm 1600. 312 North Spring Street in Los Angeles. See Justiceforzac.blogspot.com for more details. Attire is business casual, no flip-flops. Federal court is more formal than state court. You can come and go in the courtroom, at any time. Community involvement is critical in showing the judge that this case matters to the community.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Trial Update Day Four

All updates from the United Citizens Against Police Violence page on Facebook.

Champommier Trial Update- Day Four

Testimony given by Supervisor (someone in a high/higher position) for Los Angeles area Drug Enforcement Agency operations. Evidence revealed that an encrypted cable/report was sent to the DEA headquarters in Washington, D.C., explaining the events/circumstances surrounding Champommier’s killing by DEA Agent. Cable/Report contained statements alleging that Champommier had received verbal warnings and had been shown law enforcement identification prior to being shot at. Testimony from Day One and Two contradict the assertions in said cable/report since Agent, Deputy, and all law enforcement officials in the immediate vicinity of Champommier’s car testified to not having identified themselves as law enforcement and to not having given verbal warnings prior to shooting Champommier.

Testimony given by expert witness author/researcher who produced the learned treatise often cited by Plaintiffs’ forensic experts. Testimony essentially became bogged down in the minutiae of giving or taking tenths of seconds for unholstering a weapon and whether Agent’s having been bumped into by the operation’s supervisor shortly before perception of Deputy allegedly being struck by Champommier’s car could have disturbed Agent’s focus, thereby adding time to the calculus of the overall time of “perception of events” to “decision to use deadly force” to “mechanical execution of that decision”

Trial will resume Monday afternoon (April 1, 2013). It is anticipated that Champommier's parents will testify.