Andrew Holland died at the San Luis Obispo County Jail on January 22nd, 2017. Incarcerated since 2015 for public disturbance and resisting arrest, a judge ultimately ordered psychiatric treatment for his schizophrenia, though his transfer to a psychiatric facility was not effected even though space was reportedly available at the county facility. Instead, prior to his death, Holland was placed in an isolation cell for ten days and then chair restraint for forty-six hours.
Wrongful Death: News and Publications
On August 30th, 2017, a McKinleyville federal jury returned a $2.5 million verdict against Humboldt County for the death of Daren Borges, whose right to adequate medical care was held to be violated by three correctional officers who failed to have him medically evaluated despite the apparent and well-documented extremity of his methamphetamine intoxication, self-harming behavior and known history of schizophrenia.
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.
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.
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.
In April 2017, a Harris County, Texas jury awarded the parents of Jamail Amron $11 million in damages following a three-week trial in the wrongful death of their 23-year-old son.
In March 2017, a San Diego federal court approved a settlement of $1 million for the family of a Tijuana teenager who died in federal custody at the San Ysidro Port of Entry in 2013 after being instructed by two U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to drink liquid methamphetamine.
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.
"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."
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.