Police Shooting Cases and California Laws
Unfortunately, it seems like every other day there is a new case of excessive use of deadly force by police officers all over the country. When a police shooting occurs without justification and results in serious injuries or the death of a loved one, it amounts to a violation of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. So if you have lost a loved one due to an unjustifiable police shooting, there are several remedies available to you.
Wrongful Death in Police Shooting Cases
A wrongful death occurs when a person causes another individual’s death by way of intentional harm or negligence. So if an officer intentionally or negligently kills someone with a firearm unjustifiably, the family or a representative of the victim can file a wrongful death or civil rights lawsuit to receive compensation or an injunction to prevent further misconduct by police officers.
However, wrongful death cases resulting from police shootings are more complex than those that do not involve officers of the law. This is due to the fact that in most cases, the police control the evidence and can invoke the defense of qualified immunity.
It is essential to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible to secure evidence and prove that constitutional rights were violated and were clearly established, i.e., the officer knew he was in violation of the victim’s rights. No matter how complex the process may be, you have a right to pursue legal action.
California Police Shooting Laws
In 2019, California passed legislation AB 392, also known as The California Act to Save Lives. This landmark legislation redefines the standard by which officers could use lethal force. Before this law was passed, the use of deadly force in California was allowed under reasonable circumstances, even if there were other alternatives requiring less force, which made it hard to hold officers accountable in California courts.
Although this legislation makes it easier to convict officers when they engage in misconduct in the form of unjustified shootings, pursuing a lawsuit against an officer or a police department poses several challenges that only a knowledgeable lawyer will know how to handle.
Seeking Legal Help
Police officers are not above the law and losing someone due to an unjustifiable and preventable police shooting is something that no one should ever have to experience. Hiring an attorney who has experience in police misconduct and police shooting cases will be extremely helpful in your quest for justice. They will take all the necessary steps to build a strong case for you and will advise you on the best course of action.
More on Wrongful Death:
- What is a Wrongful Death Lawyer
- Suing for Wrongful Death in California
- Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
- Who can be awarded Wrongful death damages
- Wrongful Death Damages
- Finding the Best Wrongful Death Attorney
- How a Wrongful Death Claim Works
- Wrongful Death Negligence: the basics
- Seeking Wrongful Death Settlements
- Recoverable Wrongful Death Damages in California
Haddad & Sherwin LLP has a long, successful track record winning wrongful death and other serious civil rights claims for police and jail officer misconduct, throughout Northern and Central California. Call or email us for a free consultation.