The family of Randy Rakes, a Finksburg man who died in 2006 in a Maryland motor vehicle crash involving a State Police trooper car on Md. 140, is calling on Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley to remove trooper Dale Derr from the force. Their demand comes following a confrontation between Derr and Rakes’s half-brother, Joseph Blizzard, earlier this month.
According to the Rakes family’s Maryland wrongful death lawyer, other troopers had detained Blizzard in Carroll County on October 12 when Derr arrived at the scene and verbally and physically assaulted him before throwing him to the ground, allegedly causing the suspect to break his thumb. Blizzard was arrested over allegations of check forgery.
Police say they are investigating the allegations against Derr. The Rakes family wants him suspended from the force pending the probe’s outcome.
The Rakes family is suing Derr and the Maryland State Police for $15.8 million for Randy’s wrongful death. On November 29, 2006, Rakes and a friend were walking along Route 140 late in the evening when they decided to cross the road. According to the Maryland State Police crash report, Derr, who was driving over 50 mph above the speed limit at around 80mph, struck Rakes with his vehicle.
The report cited the cause of death as Rakes’s failure to yield the rate of way to the cruiser and Derr’s speeding. No charges were filed against Derr for his involvement in the crash.
Based on his alleged behavior toward Blizzard, the Rakes family is worried that Derr is “volatile” and could cause further harm.
Law enforcement officers are forbidden from abusing their authority and exercising excessive force on anyone, including criminal suspects. If you have been a victim of police brutality, your civil rights have been violated and you may be entitled to personal injury compensation.
Md. trooper’s firing sought by kin of 2006 crash victim, BaltimoreSun.com, October 29, 2008
Family wants cop fired, Carroll County TImes, October 29, 2008
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