Los Angeles, CA personal injury attorney John Taylor talks about a police shooting that happened where the officers exercised poor judgement.
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We represent the father and brother of a young Trader Joe’s employee, who was shot by LAPD back in July of this year. The police had started to pursue this man, who had had problems, and been involved in domestic violence, and in a shooting at his home during the afternoon, and they pursued the man for over 45 minutes and the car that he was in crashed at the edge of the Trader Joe’s building. He got out of the car and in less than four seconds ran from the car into the store. The police officers, who were chasing him, pulled up behind the car, jumped out of the car, and from more than 150 feet away shot towards him, but into the open front of the store, putting at risk the people in the store, people who were on the sidewalk, people who were leaving the store. It was a Saturday afternoon at 2:00PM. The police shot the manager of the store, who was coming to the front of the store to tell employees to stay back from where the car accident happened. We’re in the process now of trying to get the LAPD to turn over the dash camera footage and the body camera footage from the officers that were involved in the shooting, and involved in the pursuit, because from what’s been released so far this shooting was an out of policy shooting. The officers were poorly trained, used bad judgement, used deadly force at a time when they never should have done that and they put a number of people at risk and sadly caused this young woman her life. The father and the brother are absolutely devastated. They’re crushed. This girl was the glue that held that family together and we’re going to go learn and get answers for them as to what happened, why it happened.
One of the big challenges in trying cases against police officers is that juries, all of us, we like the police. We look to the police to protect us. We look for the police to do the right thing, but when they’ve been either poorly trained or when they don’t follow the training they’re given their use of their guns, their use of deadly force is something that the jury has to police the police, and ultimately that’s the question we always ask the jury to do is who will police the police. You’ve got to say whether or not this is acceptable in your community.