Many minor altercations with police officers end up resulting in violence. Sometimes this results in severe beatings, injuries, or even death. A young adult man in Virginia was shot and killed by a police officer over a trespassing charge.
Suspect killed for trespassing in a baked goods shop
A local medical examiner in Roanoke, Virginia released the official cause of death from the trespassing suspect. The 28 year old male was killed by a bullet from a police officer’s gun that hit his abdominal area.
The incident began when Roanoke police officers were dispatched to a Krispy Kreme store where the suspect had already been banned and was refusing to leave at about 12:45 pm. The store was located around the 1600 block of Hershberger Road NW.
The first officer on the scene stated that he noticed the suspect had a gun as he approached him. The officer claims that the suspect was about to pull a small black semi-automatic pistol on him when he fired his own weapon. After this altercation, the suspect fled on foot and was captured a short distance away. He needed to be taken to the hospital to be treated for the gunshot wound, but he died shortly afterward. It was unknown whether the suspect had sustained a single gunshot wound, or if multiple shots were fired. There also does not seem to be a video of the incident available or any information about if the suspect’s gun was ever recovered.
Use of force standards
Police do receive relevant use of force training in the academy and learn about ethical law enforcement practices. They are instructed to essentially use the minimum amount of force necessary to diffuse a situation. Many departments have also now included specific training meant to diffuse situations, rather than resorting to violence. This is because lawsuits are costly for both taxpayers and their local governments, as well as the negative publicity that tends to follow police brutality cases.
During an altercation or arrest for a misdemeanor criminal offense such as trespassing, there is almost never a reason to justify the use of excessive or deadly force by a police officer. They are only authorized to use enough force to take the suspect into custody and protect themselves and others in the area.
Lawsuits against police departments
After a suspect in a criminal investigation is killed, the surviving family members can file a lawsuit against the department at fault. There are civil rights laws which state that no government employee can abuse their authority and improperly deprive a person or life or liberty. These federal laws are most commonly used in police brutality cases.
A lawsuit after the death of a relatively young may include damages related to his medical bills, hospitalization, funeral expenses, future lost wages, and the family’s emotional pain and suffering. Experienced lawyers know how to argue for the largest verdict or settlement amount allowed by law.
Get help from a police brutality expert
If you need to speak to a lawyer about an incident of police violence in Roanoke or anywhere nearby in Virginia, there is help available. You can use the listings on this site to find an attorney who meets your needs.