Mother Sues After Son Shot In Head By Police
A Miami shooting is making headlines after a mother sued the City of Miami Police Department following the death of her son. According to the report, the man was stopped for speeding and illegally tinted windows when he admitted he did not have a driver’s license. He was asked to get out of the car by police officers and was patted down just before he tried to break free. At this point, the camera falls to the ground and you can hear a single gunshot in the background. The bullet was discharged directly into the victim’s head.
Ultimately, a 9-month probe cleared the officer of the shooting. The probe stated that it was reasonable for the officer to discharge his weapon in that case. However, the victim was unarmed and shot while attempting to flee.
Analyzing the lawsuit
The lawsuit alleges that the death of the man during the traffic stop was unnecessary and an excessive use of force. It remains unclear why less-lethal methods were not used to subdue the victim, but we don’t have corroborating video evidence to establish that the victim was in a prone position as he was tussling with police.
Other elements of the matter have yet to be released. We don’t know why the man was driving a vehicle without a license, who the vehicle belonged to, or if the man had prior warrants for his arrest. All we know is that he panicked and attempted to flee, police responded by shooting him, and that his family is filing a lawsuit.
Analyzing the defense
The defense will base itself on the finding of the investigation that the shooting was justified. However, the standard of proof in a criminal case is much higher than a civil case, so the fact that charges were not pursued will not prevent this lawsuit from moving forward. Ultimately, the allegations need to be analyzed again in the light of the lower standard of proof. The city can, therefore, end up paying out money for this claim, but the allegations are not yet strong enough to move the public to outrage.
When it comes to police brutality, injury, and death cases, it helps to have public outcry on your side. Municipalities can cap the amount of damages at $200,000 in Florida unless the plaintiff is prepared to petition the legislature through their attorney. The legislature can deny or ignore the request, but won’t when there is substantial bad press surrounding the conduct of their officers. Hence why George Floyd and Breonna Taylor paid out much higher than the caps allowed by sovereign immunity.
When it comes to police brutality lawsuits, the litigation begins and ends in the news, unfortunately, because municipalities have considerable power to limit the amount they pay. So, it takes a different type of approach to win these suits with fair compensation.
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