This past Friday an L.A. jury handed down a $24 million verdict against the Los Angeles Police Department after one of its officers shot and killed a 13-year-old boy who was playing “cops and robbers” with his friends. The verdict is the largest ever against the LAPD for a single incident. The boy was hit in the chest and has been left paralyzed.
The officer claimed that the boy had ignored the officer’s repeated commands to come out from behind a parked vehicle and then emerged while pulling a gun (now known to be a toy gun) from his waistband. The officer’s story differed dramatically from the story of eyewitnesses who indicated that the boy was unaware there was an officer on the scene, stepped out from behind the parked car holding the toy gun, and was shot on the spot. Forensic evidence offered by the boy’s legal team indicated that the boy’s version of events was clearly more credible than the story told by the officer.
The officer had been previously cleared of any wrongdoing by the Police Commission, which rules in all shooting cases on whether officers were justified in using deadly force. The commission concluded that the replica “was indistinguishable from a real firearm” and that “reasonably, any officer in similar circumstances would be focused on the threat posed by the weapon and would not see the red tip on the end of the gun.” The jury disagreed and proceeded to award a verdict amounting to tens of millions of dollars.
This case demonstrates that while police have a tough job, they are just people, and they can and do make mistakes that can cost lives – or leave people paralyzed. The same holds true for the Toledo Police and police officers throughout the state of Ohio. When Ohio police make these mistakes, compensation must be paid to the innocent victims, just like in the L.A. case.
At the Charles E. Boyk Law Offices LLC, we regularly represent individuals who have been the victims of excessive force at the hands of the Toledo Police or other Ohio police departments. We have handled cases against Ohio police officers ranging from improper use of a TASER to wrongful shooting deaths.
If you believe that you or a loved one may have a claim against an Ohio police officer or Ohio police department, contact the Ohio excessive police force lawyers at the Charles E. Boyk Law Offices. We offer free consultations and will often work on a contingency fee basis so that you do not pay any attorney fees unless we win your case. Call us today.