Denver, CO – A 23-year-old woman who suffered life-changing injuries when Denver police officers opened fire into a large crowd last July has filed a civil lawsuit against Brandon Ramos, the only officer facing criminal charges in the shooting.
Angelica Rey, who filed the suit in Denver District Court last week, recalls she was walking down Larimer Street with a friend to celebrate a promotion at work when three Denver police officers opened fire on a man who allegedly pointed a gun at them. Six bystanders, including Rey, were injured in the shooting.
One of the stray bullets hit the woman in the lower right leg. The bullet severed a nerve in the leg causing permanent neurological damage. The woman is seeking damages for her financial losses (medical bills and lost wages), as well as non-economic damages for her pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of quality of life.”
At the time of the incident, the police officers were targeting 21-year-old suspect Jordan Waddy who had been involved in a fight earlier that day. Halo and police body-cam footage released by the city shows the suspect wearing a black hoodie moving around a food truck. Waddy can be seen holding his hands up briefly and tossing the gun he was carrying when the officers ordered him to get down. Unfortunately, the officers started firing at about the same time, injuring six innocent bystanders. The officers claimed they were fearing for their life as at one point the suspect’s gun seemed pointed at them.
When can Denver police officers use their firearms?
According to the department’s use of force policy, officers are only allowed to use physical force if other alternatives are ineffective. The policy states that officers must use only the amount of force that is reasonable and necessary to safely accomplish a lawful purpose. Officers are also trained in de-escalation tactics and are expected to use the minimum amount of force necessary to control a situation.
Some common situations where Colorado police officers may use their firearms include:
- In self-defense when they believe that their life or the life of someone else is in immediate danger.
- To prevent a suspect from escaping if they pose a serious threat to public safety.
- To stop a violent crime in progress.
- When a suspect is armed and poses a threat to the officer or others.
However, they also need to weigh the risks and the LoDo incident is a clear example why. Although he was armed, Waddy was not a violent criminal and the officers should have thought twice before opening fire when there were so many bystanders in the area.
If you are ever caught in this type of incident you need to reach out to an experienced Denver police excessive force lawyer. Your attorneys will have to request access to bodycam footage and review any videos of the incident available to establish the sequence of events that led to the shooting.
For his role in last year’s LoDo shooting, officer Brandon Ramos has been charged with second and third-degree assault, prohibited use of a weapon, and five counts of reckless endangerment. However, as a victim, you must file a civil lawsuit if you want to recover damages. You cannot get damages from a criminal trial.
If you were a victim of any type of police brutality, you should contact an experienced civil rights lawyer at the Bryan & Terrill law firm right away. Their attorneys will use all their professional expertise to bring to justice those who abused their powers and broke the law they were supposed to uphold.
333 W. Hampden Ave., #420B
Englewood, CO 80110