Civil Rights Litigation, Use of Force: News and Publications

Wisconsin Jury Awards $7M for Unreasonable Force in 2014 Police Shooting

On May 18th, 2014, two Madison, Wisconsin police officers responded to a domestic disturbance report, at which the officers shot and killed Ashley DiPiazza, 26, who was threatening her own life with a handgun. An internal departmental review determined that the police did not violate departmental policy.

But a federal jury did not agree that the shooting was appropriate, and awarded DiPiazza's family $4 million in compensatory damages as well as $1.5 million in punitive damages against each officer.

Family of Unarmed Texas 19-Year-Old Killed by Police Officer to Receive $850K Settlement

On May 22nd, 2017, the City Council of Arlington, Texas approved a settlement in the amount of $850,000 to the family of Christian Taylor, who was 19 in 2015 when he was shot and killed by a police officer investigating a vehicular burglary. A lawsuit was not filed, and Taylor's family worked with the city to negotiate a settlement for the shooting.

Montana County and Victim's Family Reach $1.25M Settlement in Police Shooting

In May 2017, the family of a Huntley, Montana man killed by two Yellowstone County Sheriff's deputies agreed to a settlement of $1.25 million. The victim, Loren Simpson, was 28 in 2015 when former deputies Jason Robinson and Christopher Rudolph responded to a reported burglary. The deputies fired at least 24 shots at Simpson, although, according to a U.S. District Court judge, there was no proof Simpson had committed any crime.

$885K Settlement in Hartford, CT Police Shooting of Family Dog

In February 2017, the city of Hartford, Connecticut agreed to pay the family of Glen Harris $885,000 in settlement for the 2006 city police shooting of their 3-year-old Saint Bernard dog. Hartford Sergeants Anthony Pia and Johnmichael O'Hare entered Harris's property without a warrant in search of illegal weapons. Despite finding no contraband, as they walked away from the property they shot and killed the dog in full view of Harris's 12-year-old daughter.

Investigation of the Chicago Police Department

Author: 
United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division
Publisher: 
United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division

"The pattern of unlawful force we found resulted from a collection of poor police practices that our investigation indicated are used routinely within [the Chicago Police Department].  We found that officers engage in tactically unsound and unnecessary foot pursuits, and that these foot pursuits too often end with officers unreasonably shooting someone—including unarmed individuals.  We found that officers shoot at vehicles without justification and in contradiction to CPD policy.  We found further that officers exhibit poor discipline when discharging their weapons and engage in tactics that endanger themselves and public safety, including failing to await backup when they safely could and should; using unsound tactics in approaching vehicles; and using their own vehicles in a manner that is dangerous.  These are issues that can and must be better addressed through training, accountability and ultimately cultural change."

Also see: http://chicagoreporter.com/justice-department-report-on-chicago-police-a...

$2.25M Settlement for Family of Cleveland Woman Asphyxiated During Police Restraint

In 2014, Tanisha Anderson, a 37-year-old Cleveland woman afflicted with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, was suffering an episode when her family called the police. When Officers Scott Aldridge and Bryan Myers arrived, a struggle ensued and Anderson was placed in the back of a police car. Her hands were cuffed behind her back and one of the officers pushed his knee into her back. Anderson asphyxiated, and the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office ruled her death a homicide.

$4M Settlement for Family of 2015 Los Angeles Police Department Shooting Victim

On May 5th, 2015, Brandon Glenn, 29, was standing on the sidewalk in California's Venice Beach when Los Angeles Police Department officers notified him he was under arrest with no apparent justification. While other officers proceeded to restrain Glenn, and without giving any warning or commands beforehand, Officer Clifford Proctor then shot Glenn twice in the back, killing him.

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