Earlier this week in Cleveland, Ohio, the family of a 12-year-old boy who was killed by police filed a lawsuit against the Department and the City, claiming that the officers’ negligent actions led to the death of their loved one. According to a report by one local news source, the incident occurred on the evening of November 22, when police responded to a report of a person with a gun on a playground.
Evidently, the responding officers pulled up right next to the child rather than parking farther away and approaching from a distance. A video from a nearby surveillance camera shows one of the officers shoot the boy within two seconds of exiting the car. According to the officers, they were responding to what they thought was the boy brandishing a firearm. In reality, it was an Airsoft gun that shoots non-lethal plastic pellets. The video shows that he wasn’t reaching for the gun.
The lawsuit alleges that the officers waited four minutes to call in for emergency responders after they shot the young boy. He was eventually taken to the hospital. However, he sadly died the next day.
The officers are to appear in front of a grand jury to determine if the criminal charges pending against them are warranted. In addition, they will face a civil lawsuit seeking unspecified monetary damages brought by the family of the deceased boy.
Wrongful Death Actions in Maryland
Police killings have been all over the news in the last few years. Ever since the trial of George Zimmerman, it seems that there has been a surge of lawsuits alleging that an armed police officer shot and killed an unarmed person—often a young, black male.
While there is nothing that can be done to bring back those who have been killed in such tragic accidents, justice may be found in a wrongful death action against the officers as individuals as well as against the city that employs them.
Generally speaking, a city is responsible for its employees when they are conducting official business. In some cases, governmental immunity will protect government employees, but when the employee is acting outside the scope of his or her employment, immunity will not attach.
In cases where a police officer preemptively shoots an unarmed civilian, the question is one that will depend heavily on the specific facts. To learn more, contact a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney.
Have You Been Injured by Aggressive Police Action?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured or killed by some aggressive and unnecessary action on the part of a police officer, you may be entitled to monetary damages. While police are charged with keeping our streets safe, occasionally they act outside their mandate and ignore the rules put in place to protect society from their abuse of power. A wrongful death lawsuit is one way to hold those responsible for your loss accountable. To learn more, call 410-654-3600 to set up a free initial consultation with an attorney today.
More Blog Posts:
Construction Worker Injured in Workplace Accident Receives Verdict of over $21 Million, Maryland Accident Law Blog, November 10, 2014.
Change of Venue Ordered in Medical Malpractice Case; Impartial Jury Concerns Cited, Maryland Accident Law Blog, December 1, 2014.