$4.2 Million Awarded to Victims of Wrongful Police Shooting

Police misconduct lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm report that the mother and daughter who were injured when police mistakenly opened fire on them recently received $2.1 million each. The police mistook their vehicle for the one disgruntled ex-cop Christopher Dorner was driving before his death.

Although the agreement still needs approval by the Los Angeles City Council, the settlement will likely remain the same, and will prohibit the women from pursuing future injury claims against the city. The victims, Margie Carranza and her 71-year-old mother Emma Hernandez, were delivering papers in the early morning of February 7, 2013 when LAPD police officers fired at least 100 rounds at their car. The officers were stationed outside the Torrance home of one of the targets Dorner named in an online manifesto.

The mother was shot twice in the back and her daughter sustained injuries to her hands. The case involved eight police officers, all of whom are now assigned to non-field duties while the investigation continues. The women also sued the city for the loss of their pickup truck, which was riddled with bullet holes, and settled that case as well in the amount of $40,000.

At the time of the shooting, suspect Christopher Dorner had already killed the daughter of an LAPD captain, her fiancée, and a Riverside police officer. He was believed to be driving a gray Nissan Titan, which looks somewhat similar to the blue Toyota Tacoma the women were driving. A short while before the shooting an alert was sent out warning that a truck matching Dorner’s was in the area.

The family initially started the negotiations with the city at around $15 million, however, the lower agreement ensured that they will receive a timely payment. LA officials are hoping that this settlement ends the Dorner saga once and for all. The department has affirmed since the beginning that this shootout was a tragic mistake by the eight officers involved. Police Chief Charlie Beck met with the two women just days after the shooting and personally apologized.

Fortunately, the women involved in this wrongful shooting have fully recovered from their injuries. Other similar victims, however, have not been as lucky. One of the most tragic is the case of Rekia Boyd, who recently died on the streets of Chicago after being wrongfully shot by a police officer.

22-year-old Boyd was gunned down on the city’s West Side by an off-duty officer around 1 a.m. in March 2012. Her family filed the suit against the city alleging that the officer, detective Dante Servin, opened fire from an unmarked vehicle after having an altercation with one of Boyd’s friends. She and another member of the group she was with were shot, Boyd in the head and her friend in the hand. Boyd died nearly 24 hours later from the shot to her head.

Her family maintains that she was unarmed, innocent, and killed without any justification. Servin initially claimed that he felt his life was endangered when a member of the group approached him with a weapon. However, the Independent Police Review Authority stated that no weapon was ever recovered from the scene of the shooting. The man who approached the officer was only holding a cell phone. Boyd’s family ultimately received $4.5 million in a settlement with the City of Chicago.

Police misconduct occurs when officers use undue or excessive force and violate the civil rights of American citizens. This may happen through verbal or physical assaults, wrongful shootings, false arrests, inappropriate taser or night stick use, inappropriate use of a police dog, or illegal searches and seizures. Other cases that may warrant a police misconduct lawsuit include falsified evidence, prison abuse, dangerous and unnecessary vehicle chases, wrongful confessions, and wrongful death cause by an officer, whether on or off duty.

If this misconduct leads to serious or permanent injury or death, compensation may be available to the victim or their family. Police brutality lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm have decades of experience working with victims of civil rights violations, and can ensure you will receive the best representation and largest settlement possible.

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