The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled that two Brevard County Deputy Sheriffs must stand trial for their shooting of an unarmed man inside his home after family members asked law enforcement officers to Baker Act the disabled man. The appellate panel, consisting of Circuit Judges Adalberto Jordan, Britt Grant, and Frank Hull, reversed an order granting summary judgment in favor of the officers, finding that significant factual issues must be decided by the jury. The deputies fired thirteen bullets at the victim, eleven of which went through a closed door with the victim standing inside his home where he lived alone since his elderly parents died two months earlier. Eight bullets struck Christopher Greer through the closed door, resulting in his fatal injuries at the scene. The case will now return to the District Court for the Middle District of Florida for a jury trial on the Civil Rights and excessive force counts.
The Eleventh Circuit held that “the task of weighing the credibility of police testimony against other evidence is the stuff of which jury trials are made.”
Plaintiff’s counsel and National Trial Lawyers members Douglas R. Beam and Riley H. Beam of Douglas R. Beam, P.A. Benedict P. Kuehne and Michael T. Davis, of Kuehne Davis Law, P.A., and Marjorie Gadarian Graham issued a statement that “police shootings of innocent citizens are on the rise, and we applaud the Eleventh Circuit’s directive that juries are well-suited to the task of deciding whether the police are in fact responsible when using excessive force.” As the Eleventh Circuit explained, the “clearly established law” is that shooting a person through a closed door who has done nothing threatening and never posed an immediate danger violates the Fourth Amendment to be free from the use of excessive force.”
Plaintiff’s counsel are anxious to “bring this outrageous police shooting to a jury to hold the Brevard Sheriff’s Office responsible for this senseless disregard of a decent man’s life.”
For further information, contact Benedict P. Kuehne (305.789.5989), Michael T. Davis (305.789.5989), or Douglas or Riley Beam (321.723.6591).
Body-cam footage confirms police killed Willie McCoy while he was sleeping
THE GUARDIAN — Vallejo police released body-camera footage of 20-year-old Willie McCoy’s killing, which happened at a Bay-area Taco Bell in February. The footage confirms that Vallejo police did not try to wake McCoy nor talk to him before opening fire on his vehicle.
As he slept in the Taco Bell drive-thru, police spotted a gun in McCoy’s lap and proceeded to aim their weapons at his head. In the next few seconds, McCoy was shot at least 25 times by six officers.
McCoy’s family is represented by NBL Top 100 Executive Committee Member John L. Burris who says the family intends to file a civil rights lawsuit against the officers and police agency.
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California police shower bullets on rapper sleeping in car
NBC News — Witnesses say police fired at least 20 rounds at 20-year-old Willie McCoy in a Taco Bell parking lot Saturday night. Though it is unclear how many bullets struck him, McCoy (whose stage name is Willie Bo) was pronounced dead on the scene. His family wants to see bodycam footage.
Employees at a Bay Area Taco Bell called the police to report that a man was slumped over in his car in the drive-thru. In a statement released on Tuesday, Vallejo police said that they saw a handgun in the driver’s lap and called for backup. While police positioned cruisers in front of and behind the vehicle, McCoy awakened. A few seconds later, he was dead.
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Civil rights lawsuit filed after police shooting death of armed security guard
NBC NEWS — An armed guard working at a bar in a Chicago suburb was killed early Nov. 11 by an officer who was responding to a call of shots fired, authorities say.
According to the Cook County sheriff’s office, officers from Robbins, Illinois, and the nearby village of Midlothian were the first to respond shortly after 4 a.m. on Sunday to a shooting at a bar in Robbins.
An officer from Midlothian fired at the security guard, who was later identified as 26-year-old Jemel Roberson, according to Sheriff’s spokeswoman Sophia Ansari. Roberson was later pronounced dead in a local hospital.
Roberson’s family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on Nov. 12 “for the wrongful death of Jemel,” according to their attorneys.
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NBL member reaches $3.5M settlement over DC police shooting
A month after a former Minnesota police officer was found not guilty of fatally shooting Philando Castile in July 2016, Justine Ruszczyk was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer. But the reactions to the shootings were different. Why is there a greater outrage over Ruszczyk’s shooting than Castile’s, or the many other instances where blacks were shot and killed by white police officers? David A. Love takes a closer look in this opinion story at CNN.
‘Shooting police is not a civil rights tactic’: Activists condemn killing of officers – The Washington Post
A City Council Committee agreed Monday to pay $5 million to the family of a black teenager shot 16 times by a Chicago Police officer — even before a lawsuit was filed — amid word that the fatal shooting of Laquan McDonald is the subject of an FBI investigation.
Corporation Counsel Stephen Patton disclosed the existence of a “pending and active” state and federal investigation of the October 20, 2014, shooting as he justified the unusual settlement before a lawsuit was filed. In a statement issued Monday afternoon, the U.S. attorney’s office confirmed that the FBI office in Chicago was leading the investigation “in coordination with the Independent Police Review Authority, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.”
The shooting followed a police chase that ensued after a man called 911 to report that a knife-wielding offender had threatened him and was attempting to break into vehicles in an Archer Heights trucking yard at 41st and Kildare.
Two police officers responded to the call and found the alleged offender, subsequently identified as 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, about a block away holding a knife in his right hand, Patton said.
When McDonald was ordered to show his hands, the knife was visible, Patton said. When the teenager was ordered to drop the knife, he ignored the demand and kept walking along 40th Street toward Pulaski away from the officers.
Patton then described a chase that saw one of the officers follow McDonald on foot “kind of beside” the teenager while the other officer followed behind in a marked squad car and called a dispatcher to request a back-up unit with a Taser.
The chase continued until McDonald neared Pulaski, potentially endangering civilians. That’s when the officer in the squad car pulled in front of the teenager to block his path. According to Patton, McDonald responded by using the knife to puncture one of the squad car’s front tires and struck the windshield with a knife before continuing through a Burger King parking lot and onto Pulaski.
By that point, two additional squad cars had reported to the scene, one of them equipped with a dashboard camera that recorded the deadly shooting. The squad car with the camera followed behind McDonald.
The other squad car pulled up beside, then in front of the teenager and both officers jumped out with their guns drawn. One of those two officers then opened fire and shot McDonald 16 times, all of it captured on videotape.
The shooting officer contends that McDonald was moving toward him and that he opened fire to protect himself.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys have countered that the teenager was continuing to walk away from police at the time of the shooting. Patton said the video supports that version of events and that McDonald posed no imminent threat because there were no pedestrians or vehicles nearby at the time of the shooting.
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Authorities said they retrieved a gun after a man was shot by Atlanta police on Wednesday night. (HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM)
A member of the Atlanta Police Department’s crime scene investigation unit bent over to retrieve a handgun from a grassy lot in southwest Atlanta late Wednesday.
Authorities said the gun — abandoned under a 60-foot oak tree flanked by new construction townhomes and a run-down building — was the same one a fleeing suspect produced before being shot by multiple officers.
The suspect, identified only as a man in his 20s, was in surgery at Grady Memorial Hospital on Wednesday night and in stable condition. Few other details were released regarding the shooting, which occurred near the intersection of Garibaldi Street and Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard.
Atlanta police Capt. Michael O’Connor said the department was “not prepared” to release information regarding the original stop, but did say that several officers responded to the initial “chase call.”
O’Connor said he believed “more than one” officer fired at the suspect, who allegedly led police on a foot chase covering several blocks around 7 p.m. The number of shots fired was unclear, O’Connor said, adding that he was unsure if the suspect fired at officers.
The suspect was believed to be “local,” police said. O’Connor said it was unclear if he was running away from police when the shots were fired.
“We know he ran away from officers initially,” O’Connor said, “but how the actual shooting took place we can’t confirm one way or another at this time.”
Per department policy, any officers who fired shots will be placed on a minimum of three days’ administrative duty, O’Connor said.
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