On April 10, 2013 a 39-year-old male visited his local gun shop to practice shooting his handgun at the shooting range. During his time at the shooting range the male was described as calm and rational. Upon leaving the shooting range he got into his car to leave and discovered that his car wouldn’t start. He began to work on his car and removed his shirt as he attempted to figure out the problem with his vehicle.
The male stopped for lunch and afterwards proceeded to a nearby auto sales lot. At this time, he still had the handgun on him, but the handgun was not loaded. As the male walked to the auto sales lot a man driving past him called 911 and reported to authorities that a man wearing shorts, no shirt, and a cowboy hat, had taken a gun from his waistband, spun it around on his finger and replaced it in his waistband.
The male then proceeded onto the auto sales lot and entered the sales building where he engaged in conversation with two individuals about vehicles in the lot. These individuals later reported the male wasn’t doing anything out-of-the-ordinary and they did not feel at risk of physical harm.
A police officer responding to the 911 call arrived at the auto lot. The officer exited his cruiser, drew his weapon and sprinted towards the entrance of the sales building. As the officer ran towards the building, he began yelling several conflicting commands at the male. In a panic, the male attempted to communicate that he was carrying a weapon by stating, “I’m packing.” The male then removed his hands from his pockets and turned to face the officer as he was commanded. As the male turned, the officer fired two-gun shots, hitting the male in his back and his arm. The male was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Overall, less than a minute had elapsed from the time the officer exited his cruiser to the time he fatally shot the male.
This 39-year-old male’s constitutional rights were violated. Upon investigation the responding police officer consistently failed to describe any threat the male had posed that would justify drawing his weapon and fatally shooting the male. Additionally, none of the four individuals that witnessed the shooting saw anything that justified the police officer’s use of deadly force.
The 39-year-old male’s family opened an Estate and retained Charles Boyk Law Office to bring a civil rights lawsuit on the deceased male’s behalf. A lawsuit was filed against the police officer and the city. Allegations included but were not limited to the use of the police officer’s excessive force and the city’s failure to improperly train the police officer regarding use of force. Charles Boyk Law Office engaged the assistance of co-counsel Alphonse Gerhardstein, an experienced Ohio Civil Rights attorney. After extensive litigation and employment of vocational experts, Charles Boyk Law Office and Alphonse Gerhardstein were able to obtain a substantial settlement award on behalf of the deceased male.