While there are obvious cases of police brutality where officers beat or shoot people who pose no threat to anyone nearby, sometimes there is not always a clear answer to who is at fault for an injury. Many of these instances can only be resolved after further investigation by the parties involved.
Suicidal man ends up shot dead, possibly by police
An incident in Daytona Beach resulted in a suicidal man being fatally shot, but it is still unclear where the bullet originated.
The FDLE was looking into an incident on Bellevue Avenue in Daytona that occurred around noon. The local police were called to a home to check on a suicidal man that had created some issues in the area with his family and others. When they arrived on the scene, the man was struggling with his sister over a gun that he apparently wanted to use to kill himself. At some point the man ended up dead from a lethal bullet, but it was unclear whether he took his own life or was shot by police officers. The department admitted that one officer apparently did discharge a firearm at the scene.
The suicidal man was recently released from the hospital and he may have been dealing with some kind of mental health condition or an adverse reaction to a medication. One nearby witness said he heard multiple gunshots throughout the course of the interactions of the man with the police and his sister.
The Daytona Beach Police Chief released a statement saying the officer suspected of possibly shooting the man did what was necessary to protect himself. Another local government representative was shown the body camera video of the incident, and he believes the victim did actually kill himself. He also made a statement about the state of Florida needing to do a better job to help people with mental illnesses. There will likely be a further ballistics investigation to determine the origin of the bullet.
What recourse does the victim’s family have?
In a situation like this, there is probably no direct answer until more facts are unearthed. Both the relevant law enforcement agencies and an attorney would need to investigate further and see if any police action contributed to the death or if the fatal bullet came from an officer’s gun. Unfortunately, as the statement from the police chief shows, law enforcement will protect their own in most cases, so outside legal help is needed to obtain any kind of remedy. The department will probably not do anything to discipline the officer even if he did shoot the man.
Despite this uncertainty, it is still helpful to speak with a lawyer and retain legal help if necessary. If it is determined that police fired the fatal shot, the victim’s family can file a wrongful death lawsuit and take other actions. The police may also have been negligent in how they handled the situation. There are a number of options specific to each case that can be discussed with a lawyer who specializes in police brutality incidents. A civil lawsuit is almost always the best solution for cases of police brutality because it gives and victim or their family members more control over how misconduct is handled and a direct financial benefit from a verdict or settlement.
Talk to an attorney in Daytona Beach today
If you need legal help in Daytona Beach or anywhere nearby in Florida after an encounter with the police, contact Pappas and Russel, P.A. Even when legal issues seem confusing or unclear, they have a team of experienced lawyers who can help you make sense of the situation and recommend the best possible course of action.