Bystander Sues After Sustaining Leg Injury Due To Stray LEO Bullet
A bystander is suing police officers after a stray bullet hit her in the leg and caused permanent damage. According to the lawsuit, law enforcement opened fire on a crowded street. The 23-year-old woman was riding high during a celebration of a work promotion when a stray bullet hit her leg.
Law enforcement attempted to apprehend a man who they allege “punched another man” and “had a bulge in his pocket”. Law enforcement approached the man, and as they did, he removed the gun from his pocket and threw it on the ground. Two officers fired 6 shots. A third officer fired a 7th shot that missed. The gunfire resulted in 6 bystanders being shot. The incident caused the crowd to start running and people were trampled. The one officer who did hit the woman is facing charges of reckless endangerment and reckless discharge of a weapon. The two officers who did not strike human targets have been cleared of all charges by a grand jury after the jury decided they had a “clear backdrop”.
One thing the jury didn’t decide was whether or not the discharge of the weapon was lawful. In this case, the matter was never put before the jury preventing them from rendering a ruling on that matter. Instead, the jury determined whether or not the discharge was lawful in light of the backdrop. In other words, did the police have a clear backdrop? Not, by contrast, was this a situation in which it is permitted to open fire on a suspect?
Essentially, prosecutors carved out a legal scenario that allowed the grand jury to hold the one individual who missed accountable for his missing. However, bang-bang timing is a concept that gets folded into every criminal trial against police officers. They didn’t have time to think about what was happening. That includes the backdrop. If the correct decision was to fire, then it doesn’t matter if you miss or not because no police officer is going to gage a backdrop when they’re in the midst of drawing on a random member of the public who just committed violence.
So, it was either correct to shoot or not. No one gages the backdrop when their life is on the line. That being said, a better review of the situation would have been to determine if the suspect was a threat when the trigger was pulled. We’ll never know that information unless it becomes a part of this civil case. The city is unlikely to let that happen, because they need their officers to appear trustworthy in order to get convictions. Untrustworthy officers cannot be placed on the stand. So, the city protects the officers to avoid this issue, and they do this by settling the case and preventing the lawyer for the plaintiff from digging too deeply.
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