When police respond to emergency situations or crimes in progress, there is a tendency for them to rely too heavily on their weapons to handle the situation. Police officers do have to resort to their guns in some instances, however this should only be done to prevent further loss of life or when there is no other means necessary to stop a suspect. Although they need some latitude to stop further violence from occurring at the hands of criminals, there are often dubious reasons given as to why police officers needed to resort to gun violence.

An incident in Westville in Holmes County is a reminder that tense situations often result in someone being shot by police.

Domestic violence response results in a man being shot four times

Holmes County Sheriff’s Deputies were responding to a possible domestic violence incident between a mother and son. The mother had fled to a neighbor’s house while the son hid in his garage and did not want to come out to speak with the officers. The officers allege that they were able to see through the garage window and witness the man lighting a makeshift fire bomb to start a small fire that would prevent the police from coming inside. After the ignition, the man retreated to the back of his house and the deputies took cover behind their vehicles. The officers then allege that the man returned to the garage at some point and placed at gun at the window in their direction. Shots were then exchanged between the parties and the man was removed to be treated by medics. The local hospital discovered he had been wounded by four gunshots.

Following the incident, the officers involved in the shooting were placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the man is being charged with arson, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, and domestic battery.

Types of claims against police

Many victims of police shootings will have the option of retaliating by making a legal claim that the shots were either an unnecessary use of excessive force, or that the actions resulted in a wrongful death. In use of force lawsuits, lawyers can file a claim for damages based on medical bills and continued treatment for wounds, loss of time from work and other activities, and pain and suffering caused from the shooting. The lawyer will also have to prove that the police could have diffused the situation without shooting anyone, or that an excessive level of gun power was deployed to stop a suspect.

In a wrongful death lawsuit, surviving family members can sue the department for the value of a person’s total future earnings, as well as non-economic damages related to their value to their family and community. Cases involving multiple gunshots often result in someone dying, and there have been a number of high profile cases regarding someone being fatally shot when the circumstances clearly did not require deadly force.

Get local legal help in Holmes County now

There are lawyers who are licensed to practice in the state of Florida who also specialize police brutality claims. You can speak with one of these lawyers in the Holmes County area to learn more about how to file a lawsuit against the local police department. The only way to get specific advice about your situation is to speak with an attorney.