Wrongful Death: News and Publications

Judge Rules for Release of Police Shooting Video

A federal judge ordered the city of Gardena, CA to release video footage of police fatally shooting an unarmed man in 2013. This came after several media and news organizations requested that the judge unseal the videos under a First Amendment right to access court documents. Gardena officials argued that releasing the footage would skew judgement about the officers' behavior, but the judge dismissed that idea, noting that public may very well see the videos and reach the same conclusion as prosecutors in that the shooting was justified.

Garner Case Is Settled by NYC for $5.9 Million

New York City reached a settlement with the family of Eric Garner, agreeing to pay $5.9 million to resolve a wrongful-death claim over his killing by the police on Staten Island in July 2014.

The settlement marks a pivotal moment in the extremely well know case, when two officers approached Mr. Garner as he stood unarmed on a sidewalk, and accused him of selling untaxed cigarettes. One of the officers used a chokehold to subdue him, which was cited by the medical examiner as a cause of Mr. Garner’s death.

$8 Million Awarded in CA Wrongful Death Suit

A civil court jury has awarded $8 million to the family of Darren Burley, who died during a violent fight with police in Compton.

In August 2012, police responded to a call of what was identified as a misdemeanor assault. During the arrest, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies admit to punching, Tasering and piling onto the suspect to get handcuffs on Burley. Attorneys for Burley's family say they also put him in a choke hold, which sheriff's officials deny.

Jury Awards $4.65 million in Denver Wrongful Death Suit

A federal jury on Tuesday awarded record $4.65 million to the family of a Marvin Booker, a homeless street preacher who died during a struggle with deputies while being held in a Denver, CO jail.

During the incident in July 2010, four deputies and a sergeant shocked Marvin with a taser, put him in a "sleeper hold" and lay on top of him in an effort to control him during booking. City officials said they have not yet decided whether to appeal the judgment, which includes punitive damages, funeral costs, attorney’s fees, and the loss of enjoyment of life.

NYC Agrees to $2.75 Million Settlement in Wrongful Death of Man Being Held at Rikers Island

New York City has agreed to pay $2.75 million to settle a lawsuit stemming from the December 2012 death of a man being held at Rikers Island after he suffered “blunt force trauma” to the head. The medical examiner’s office ruled the death a homicide.

The settlement is one of the largest paid by the city in recent years to resolve a lawsuit alleging violence against an inmate. It also comes at a time of heightened focus on violence in city jails.