Articles Posted in Police Brutality

A major city has agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle a lawsuit filed by a woman who suffered third-degree burns when a “flash-bang” grenade thrown by a police officer on the city’s SWAT team exploded near her during a raid. The victim suffered burns over 11 percent of her body and was permanently disfigured as a result of the incident, which happened during a search of the home she was visiting.

The victim, now 31, accused police of needlessly using an “extreme level of force” when they lobbed the grenade into the house. Without admitting wrongdoing, the City Council voted unanimously in closed session Tuesday to approve the settlement. The victim’s attorney, said there had been no reason to use the flash-bang grenade because police had previously searched the home without using the device and should have known that the occupants would have been sleeping. The two shotguns were found in the garage, and the victims were not armed, he said. Neither woman was arrested. “This was a real tragedy,” the attorney said. “The conduct of the police was reprehensible.” The lawsuit against police stemmed from his arrest on drug charges. Police who subsequently searched the home reported finding 216 live rounds and a magazine for an assault weapon. But prosecutors dismissed the case after determining that the Officer had falsely stated on a search warrant affidavit that the alleged narcotics seized during his arrest had been confirmed as actual drugs. It was one of a series of allegedly false statements by police seeking warrants. The policeman and three other officers were fired. One officer has since regained his job through arbitration.Police should have known that the flash-bang grenade, which is typically used to disorient dangerous suspects, could severely burn or otherwise injure an innocent bystander, the attorney said in a suit filed last year in U.S. District Court. When detonated, such grenades emit a loud noise and blinding flash. He also said that police had conducted the raid to retaliate against a man who had connections to the home because he had filed a class-action lawsuit three days earlier accusing officers of falsifying search warrants. City officials denied any link between the suit and the raid, saying the SWAT team had been called in because police believed people in the home were gang members armed with guns. Two shotguns and cocaine and heroin were found during the search, police said. But the city acknowledged that a flash-bang grenade that a 10-year veteran, fired toward an unoccupied hallway hit a wall and bounced back into the living room where the victim had been sleeping, burning her on her chest and leg. She spent nearly a month being treated at the Hospital and incurred medical expenses of $400,000. A second woman was also hurt and has received a $45,000 settlement from the city. Police said they had fired the flash-bang grenade because the victim opened the front door as they approached and then shut it, forcing them to break it open.
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The state police have been sued by the father of a young man who was brutally shot and killed at his home by police officers when they responded to a suspected report of road rage on a local highway.The newspapers report that the wrongful death lawsuit was filed in state district court by the father of the victim. The young man died after he was shot point blank in the chest by the police officers investigating a disturbance involving the victim’s brother.As an experienced attorney I have reviewed many cases of wrongful death and have completed same with favorable results.

Police had been told that someone tried to run two women off of the Interstate and then got out of his vehicle and threatened them.The officers arrived at the brothers’ residence after identifying their truck as the one involved in the road rage incident. The officers claimed that they heard gunshots and a man shout, “We have a gun! Get off the property.”Then an officer saw a man standing in a window with a pistol and he shot him. The victim’s father and brother claim he first fired a warning shot into the air,but the police state he fired at an officer.The surviving brother managed to elude the police by fleeing the house with a shotgun and later went to the police to ask for help where he was arrested on charges of aggravated assault on a police officer and resisting or evading arrest.The grand jury did not indict the police officers.The lawsuit claims that the victim didn’t hear the officers identify themselves when they approached their house.His brother says the police yelled and cursed at them telling them they were surrounded and demanding that they come out, but they didn’t announce they were police or use any police lights.The lawsuit also states that after the victim was killed, the police used a cell phone to take a picture of the body and distributed the image to members of the public.If your family member has been a victim of wrongful death please call me at 800 320-0080 or visit me at my offices conveniently located in Rockville or Baltimore.

A victim of police brutality sued a state trooper in federal court, claiming she shocked him with her Taser during a traffic stop, while he was sitting in his car and asking to speak to his lawyer. The victim claims that the Highway Patrol Trooper pulled him over while he was driving. She checked his license and other paperwork and then asked him to take a breath test for alcohol because she smelled alcohol in the car. The plaintiff said he wanted to speak to his lawyer before taking any tests, according to the lawsuit. He claims that the trooper pulled out her Taser and threatened to deploy it if he did not get out of the car. As a Maryland personal injury lawyer we have seen and investigated many similar cases on behalf of injured victims.

When he asked her not to fire the Taser, the trooper pressed it against his arm and fired. After the victim recovered, he again said he wanted to speak to his lawyer, the suit claims. Without further commands or warning, the trooper deployed the Taser on his arm again, he claimed. The lawsuit states that the Trooper threatened to fire the Taser again and arrested the plaintiff when he refused to take a field sobriety test.

The lawsuit claims the Trooper used excessive force and violated the victim’s constitutional rights. “We know that troopers do get sued from time to time,” he said. The defendant remains employed as a state trooper at the present time the spokesman said.
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The parents of a man who was fatally shot by Harbor Police after jumping off a chartered cruise ship two years ago has reached a tentative $2.5 million settlement in their wrongful-death lawsuit against a Pot Authority in California. The ship had been chartered for a gay pride weekend party, and the plaintiff was one of the event’s hired dancers. He jumped into San Diego Bay about 11 p.m. on July 19 and was shot about 30 minutes later during an altercation with two officers sent to pull him from the water. Police said the victim fought with an officer on a rescue boat and tried to grab his gun. A second officer then shot him.

The parents’ lawyer said the victim was not the aggressor, noting he was unarmed and shot in his back. The family filed a federal lawsuit in November 2008, claiming the Harbor Police violated their son’s civil rights and used excessive force.

“We know it was not a situation where he needed to be shot and killed,” said a Los Angeles attorney, citing forensic and physical evidence in the case. A Port spokesman stressed that the two officers, who were removed from the lawsuit, did not hold any personal biases against the victim or against gay people, referring to allegations the attorney had made. “They only went to save a life,” he said. “That is what they were trying to do.” The victim’s parents hoped their lawsuit would prompt authorities to examine police training policies, the lawyer said. They want their son to be remembered as “an ambitious, caring, loving (and) creative individual,” he said. About 800 people were onboard the 222-foot cruise ship Inspiration when the victim jumped into the bay.