Family may file wrongful death in son’s death in North Carolina
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has placed three of its own on administrative leave while they conduct an investigation into the shooting of an unarmed man. The man’s family has already hired an attorney and may exercise their right to file a wrongful death claim against the department and the officers deemed responsible for their son’s death. One officer has already been charged with voluntary manslaughter in connection with this incident.
A spokesperson for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has admitted that the officer did not have justification for the shooting. There is some question as to whether the fact that the man was black and was in a neighborhood that is mostly occupied by white people had anything to do with the fact that he was shot multiple times. Officers tried to use a taser on the man, but that was unsuccessful, so one of the officers took out his weapon and fired.
The victim’s wrecked vehicle was found later on the morning the shooting occurred. It is now believed that when the victim was knocking on the door of a local woman, it was to ask for help. She did not recognize the man and called 911 when his knocking became persistent. When the man saw police officers, he rushed toward them for help, and that is when he was shot.
Police officers have a difficult job, but that does not always justify shooting first and asking questions later. Had the officers given the man a chance to explain his actions, the department and officers may not be facing a wrongful death claim. No amount of money can compensate this family for their loss, but any monetary award may save another unarmed man from losing his life the way this family’s loved one did.
Source: Reuters, N.C. police shoot unarmed man who survived car accident, No author, Sept. 15, 2013