A Texas police officer is being held responsible for the wrongful death of a woman. The woman’s family has filed an excessive force and wrongful death lawsuit against the police officer. The woman led the police in a high-speed chase, and the officer then shot and killed her.
In October 2013, the woman violated her probation for various crimes including burglary and fled from the police. An officer pursued her for 20 miles, even crossing state lines at speeds of 100 miles per hour. After her tires blew out, she drove into a farm field. The police officer ordered her to put her hands up and shot at the engine. He then fired a second shot through her window and killed her.
According to the officer, he saw her reaching for something so he shot her for fear of his own safety. After investigating the scene, it was determined that the woman was not armed. The officer stated that he did not have a clear view into her car. A dash cam video recorded the incident and is being relied on to determine what actually happened.
The lawyer for the woman’s family said that the dash cam does not match the officer’s statement, and if he was afraid for his safety, he should have taken cover. However, the lawyer for the officer says it was not his fault for her death because he was protecting himself and other police officers. In situations like this one, a Texas court can help settle disputes and bring justice to families affected by the wrongful death of a loved one.
Source: ABC News, “High-Speed Chase Ends in Tragedy and a Lawsuit“, , April 25, 2014