$3.5 Million Civil Rights Settlement in Officer on Officer Shooting Case

This is an off topic, but important, post. As some of you may know, I also represent plaintiffs in civil rights lawsuits against municipalities, state governments, special districts, and federal agencies. In a recent case I was honored to represent the widow and children of a police officer who was shot and killed by a fellow officer. The case is a sad and depressing example of the sort of “shoot first and ask questions later” mentality that many law enforcement agencies encourage among their officers. The shooter in this case completely ignored his training and the information broadcast over his police radio, instead opting to proceed forward without the necessary situational awareness. The deceased officer was manning a perimeter location in a darkened backyard, in the exact place that officers are trained to be when forming a perimeter location, and had reported his location several times over the shared police radio channel. Despite this information, and training that he should gain all necessary information before proceeding with a tactical operation, the shooter entered the backyard and immediately shot the first person he saw with a gun. The problem was, police officers carry guns.

I am extremely proud to have achieved a $3.5 million settlement in the case for my brave and deserving clients. The case is Davies v. City of Lakewood et al., Case No. 14-cv-01285-RBJ-NYW (D. Colo.). Here is some of the press coverage regarding the settlement, which includes a brief interview with me: