The Los Angeles police have withdrawn their offer to let the Arian family listen to the 911 recording from the night their son was shot to death by officers, said an attorney for the family.
Lawyer Jeffrey M. Galen told The Huffington Post that on Sunday, during a meeting between high-ranking police officials, members of the Muslim community and Abdul Arian's family, the LAPD offered to turn over a copy of the entire tape for their personal review.
At the time, the Arian family was too distraught over Abdul's death to consider listening to his voice. They thanked the officers and requested that the recording be turned over to their legal representation, Galen explained.
Instead, the police never sent over a copy of the call, said Galen, and when the family re-approached the police Thursday to listen to the recording for themselves, they were rebuffed. A commander associated with the case informed the Arians that they would have to obtain the tape through a subpoena, claims Galen.
The police have gone on record in other news outlets since that Sunday meeting, offering to let the family listen to the recording.
Galen, who believes the 911 call lasted between nine and eleven minutes, says the family is not satisfied with what has been provided so far: a transcript that encompasses less than 10 seconds of the call.
The day after Sunday's meeting, the Arian family announced a $120 million wrongful death legal claim against the city of Los Angeles -- "equivalent to one million dollars per bullet," said the press release. They later laid Abdul to rest in a North Hollywood mortuary.
Arian was shot to death last week after a wild freeway chase on the 101. Police admit that they fired at least 90 rounds in the teen's direction because he appeared to be holding a gun.
Footage from NBC LA shows the suspect being shot to death by police. WARNING: graphic.
Investigators later discovered that Arian was unarmed throughout the entire confrontation, despite his frequent claims on a 911 call during the chase that he had a gun and was prepared to use it against the police. The Associated Press has some of the call:
"I have a gun," was one of the statements police quoted the man as saying.
"'I've been arrested before for possession of destructive devices, I'm not afraid of cops," he said.
"If they pull their guns, I'm gonna have to pull my gun out on them," he was also quoted as saying.
In a press conference before his funeral, Galen claimed that Arian may have been holding his phone up in order to film the police.
UPDATE: LAPD Commander Andrew Smith explained to The Huffington Post that withholding the 911 recording is standard protocol once a lawsuit is filed. Now the tape is being held for discovery at the City Attorney's office, and Galen will have to obtain it through legal means.
Additionally, said Commander Smith, "we didn't want to go public with it because we didn't want to disparage the memory of this young man. We wanted the family to maintain as much dignity as possible." He also clarified that the LAPD never offered to turn over a copy -- just to let them listen to the call.
Galen disputes the term "lawsuit," saying that the family has simply filed a legal claim against the city. Los Angeles has to reject the claim before it can turn into a lawsuit.
He added that the Arian family is prepared to sit down with the police, with or without counsel, to listen to the tape. "They've put their son to rest, and they want answers," said Galen. "They're ready to listen to the tape, and the city has no legal basis to withhold it."