Police officers should only fire their weapons if they are facing a deadly threat. Unfortunately, many police officers are trained to use fatal force as soon as they feel slightly threatened. When police officers unjustifiably shoot victims, or innocent bystanders, they destroy families and cause victims to suffer disability or death. If you or someone you love are a police shooting victim, you should contact an Atlanta police shooting lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Our skilled Atlanta wrongful death lawyers have successfully represented many shooting victims and their families. We’ll deliver the best customer service and the greatest result. Our prior victories and our 5-star client reviews validate that promise.
Atlanta Police Shooting Statistics
Georgia police have shot and killed 18 unarmed citizens since 2015. Although half of the people shot and killed by police are white, Black Americans are shot at a disproportionate rate . For instance, Black Americans account for less than 13% of the U.S. population, but they’re killed by police at more than twice the rate of White Americans. Since 2015, police have killed 135 unarmed black men and women across the U.S. Nearly 60% of the shootings occurred in the South, with more than a quarter in Texas, Georgia and Louisiana.
If a police officer killed your loved one, our Atlanta police shooting lawyers will help your family obtain justice.
Atlanta Police Shooting Claims
Atlanta police shooting victims can recover damages from the police department that harmed them by filing a Section 1983 lawsuit. Congress passed Section 1983 in 1871 as Section 1 of the “Ku Klux Klan Act” which was designed to eliminate extralegal violence and protect the civil and political rights of four million freed slaves. Over time, Section 1983 evolved to also serve as a tool to punish abuses by state officials. Now, Section 1983 authorizes shooting victims to enforce their federal constitutional rights against municipalities, such as police departments, that committed unlawful killings in the line of duty.
Unfortunately, Section 1983 does not permit a shooting victim to recover damages from the individual police officer that harmed them. Congressional leaders recently tried to reform police tactics and implement new accountability measures, such as permitting shooting victims to sue individual police officers, but those efforts failed.
Top Police Shooting Settlements
Police shooting victims and their families often resolve their injury cases against the police department for millions of dollars. Here are some of the largest police shooting settlements:
- George Floyd. The City of Minneapolis paid George Floyd’s family $27 million dollars for unlawfully killing him in 2020. Mr. Floyd died after a police officer pressed his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes.
- Breonna Taylor. In September 2020, the City of Louisville, Kentucky paid Breonna Taylor’s family $12 million dollars for unlawfully killing Ms. Taylor while pursuing a “no-knock” warrant.
- Freddie Gray. The City of Baltimore paid Freddie Gray’s family $6.4 million dollars for unlawfully killing Mr. Gray in 2015. Mr. Gray died as the result of spinal injuries he sustained while the police officers transported him unsecured in a van.
- Eric Garner. The City of New York paid Eric Garner’s family $6 million dollars for unlawfully killing Mr. Garner in 2014. Mr. Garner died in a chokehold during an arrest for selling loose cigarettes.
- Tamir Rice. The City of Cleveland paid Tamir Rice’s family $6 million dollars for unlawfully killing Mr. Rice in 2014. The officers shot and killed Mr. Rice, a 12 year-old boy, even though it was clear that he was holding a toy pistol.
- Laquan McDonald. The City of Chicago paid Laquan McDonald’s family $5 million dollars for unlawfully killing Mr. McDonald in 2014. Although Mr. McDonald brandished a knife, he was walking away from the police officer at the time he was shot. Moreover, the City of Chicago engaged in an elaborate cover-up scheme to hide their wrongdoing.
- Philando Castile. The City of St. Anthony, Minnesota paid Philando Castile’s family $3 million dollars and his girlfriend $800,000 for fatally shooting Mr. Castile in 2016. Mr. Castile was shot and killed during a traffic stop. He warned police officers that he had a gun in his car, but assured them he was not going to “pull it out” on them.
How An Atlanta Police Shooting Lawyer Can Help You
Police shooting settlements aren’t easily achieved. In fact, Atlanta shooting victims and their families must hire a lawyer that will use the media to highlight the injustices. A police department will only agree to pay a large financial settlement once they’ve lost the battle in the court of public opinion. At Graham Scofield Injury Lawyers, our Atlanta police shooting lawyers know how to use the media to maximize a case’s value.
Atlanta police shooting victims also need to hire a lawyer that has the financial resources to prove their cases. Many lawyers don’t accept police shooting cases because they’re time-consuming and expensive. Our Atlanta wrongful death lawyers aren’t afraid to invest our money in a worthwhile case. In fact, we will hire the best experts, such as coroners and ex-police officers, to prove your case.