Police chases can end in tragedy, and when officers use excessive force, a policy brutality claim may be appropriate.
Cleveland Ohio’s police chief recently announced that 63 officers involved in a high-speed car chase and shooting will be suspended for up to ten days for their roles in the fatal incident. On November 29, 2012, a car with a driver and one passenger fled from police after a traffic stop. At the end of the chase, 13 police officers fired 137 bullets at the suspects’ car, killing both occupants. Most of the officers suspended in the incident were disciplined because they joined the chase without permission and drove at excessive speeds.
Despite the fact that the police claim the couple ran from the police,that may not absolve the officers and their police department from wrongful death liability for their deaths. As soon as possible after an incident involving an injury or death caused by the police, it is important to contact a qualified personal injury or wrongful death attorney to evaluate the case.
A case like this can be hard to unravel, especially when the people who could best explain the incident are dead and the other witnesses, the police, have a vested interest in the case’s outcome. Although most police officers are honest, dedicated public servants, there are bad apples in every profession, and law enforcement is no exception. In the Cleveland case, a federal investigation into excessive force at the department is ongoing.
An experienced personal injury attorney will understand exactly which evidence to gather. Witness statements may be hard to come by if too much time has elapsed after the event, and other evidence may be destroyed. The longer you take to contact a St. Louis personal injury attorney, the less likely it is that you will figure out exactly what happened to yourself or your loved one.