Wrongful Death Lawsuits When Police Officers Shoot a Young Child
Wrongful death doesn’t just encompass losing a loved one due to a medical mistake or car accident that was someone else’s fault—sometimes, people that we trust, such as police officers, can also be involved in wrongful death. Many families lose loved ones due to police shootings every year, and a number of these families decide against filing a wrongful death lawsuit for the loss of their loved ones – even if they suspect foul play – because they assume that the officer responsible likely enjoys some immunity if they were involved in a fatal shooting while in the course of doing their job.
However, one family who recently lost their grandson due to a police shooting refused to accept this justification. They filed a wrongful death claim in connection with a federal civil rights lawsuit, alleging that the shooting officer used a racial slur after firing when killing their 13-year-old grandson. The officer, in turn, stated that he thought a toy gun being carried by the child was a real firearm.
Excessive, Unreasonable and Unjustifiable Force
The main question at issue in this case is: Was there an unreasonable, unjustifiable use of force involved, given that the officer shot a 13-year-old child – who was reportedly in the process of running away – three times?
The family also alleges that the Division of Police—including the Chief—endorsed the excessive, unreasonable and unjustifiable force connected to the fatal shooting that placed the victim and the public at unnecessary risk of death or injury from the officer, as well as others in the department who have that same propensity to use unreasonable and inappropriate force. If the department and any supervisors fail to properly train, supervise, and discipline officers, it is arguably an authorization of the officer’s behavior, and reflective of the unwritten policies, practices, and customs of that behavior within the department that lead to the excessive and unreasonable use of deadly force against citizens.
It is also incumbent upon the city and the police division to properly investigate the circumstances surrounding the victim’s death and release information concerning the death, as well as discipline officers for the use of force against citizens, lest they be joined in the wrongful death claim as defendants.
Speak With Our Florida Wrongful Death Attorneys
If you have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligent or intentional conduct, it is crucial that you not only work with an experienced attorney, but one who has worked on a number of wrongful death claims and who understands and has connections with the right forensic experts, who play crucial roles in these cases.
If you or your family is experiencing this kind of emotional turmoil and upheaval, contact our Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorneys at Friedland & Associates today to find out how we can help you obtain justice.