Wrongful Death Suit Filed Against Police in Sparks Shooting
In a tragic turn of events, the parents of the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by Sparks police have filed a federal suit against the three officers who were involved, as well as the lieutenant and the city. The suit claims that the death was not only wrongful, but that it was caused by poor police training and used overly excessive force against the victim.
In the midst of Black Lives Matter protests still raging across the country, this police shooting has become one of note for protesters in the area, who want to bring attention to the fact that the victim was mentally ill and looking for help for his suicidal thoughts.
With a history of bipolar disorder as well as drug use, the victim called 911 and told the dispatcher that he wanted to die, but when cops saw a gun on the scene, they immediately reacted and shot the 18-year-old six times.
What is Wrongful Death?
In many cases, police officers fire on a suspect when they feel that they are in danger, and sometimes this can lead to death that will be cleared as self-defense if it comes up in a court of law.
In situations such as those outlined above, however, an officer firing on someone who is in clear mental distress and who is not a threat to the officers is not seen as acting in self-defense.
Unfortunately, due to the public perception and positive bias often associated with police officers, most manslaughter cases such as these are not successful in a court of law. In these cases, a wrongful death lawsuit may be the best option for justice for those killed. A personal injury lawsuit may not be the justice that these families imagine, but when it comes to covering the large financial cost of dealing with an unexpected death, winning a wrongful death suit can give both financial and emotional closure to a family that falls victim to violence.
Police Officers and Personal Injury Suits
It might seem as though police officers are immune to charges, given the long history of lenient sentencing that is often seen in both criminal and civil cases against police departments. In many cases, such as in the case of the public uproar about the death of Breonna Taylor, no criminal arrests will be made and this leaves families with no other option but to go the civil route.
The family of Taylor, for instance, was forced to go the civil route when no arrests were made in connection to Taylor’s death, and have since filed a wrongful death suit against the police department responsible.
There’s no doubt that changes need to be made, both to the laws surrounding the police as well to the criminal justice system. If you or your family have dealt with a wrongful death or mistreatment from police, you may be able to file a personal injury suit against them.
Contact our offices to set up your free introduction to our lawyers today.