Posted by Michael Swickard on Tuesday, November 18, 2014
“We defend police officers like every city employee, vigorously and zealously,” city attorney David Tourek said. Some of those cases turned out in favor of the city, but most have not.
A big payout went to the family of Alan Gomez. In 2011, police got a call that Gomez was holding his brother and another woman against their will. Officers thought he was armed when they shot and killed Gomez. Police later discovered it was a spoon. The cost of that lawsuit was $1.048 million.
The most expensive case involved the estate of Kenneth Ellis. He was pointing a gun to his head when he was killed in a January 2010 SWAT standoff. The lawsuit cost the city $8.305 million.
Then there’s the case of Christopher Torres, who was a mentally ill man with a violent criminal history. Police were serving a warrant for a road rage case. Officers shot Torres during a confrontation. In June, a district court judge ordered the city to pay the Torres family $6 million. The amount was later reduced to $400,000.
With nearly $12 million already spent on officer-involved shootings, it’s not over yet. There are still some major cases coming down the pike, including the case of homeless camper James Boyd. More