Fresh off the heels of the very public Michael Brown wrongful death settlement, another high profile wrongful death suit of a similar nature has been filed by the family of Alton Sterling against the city of Baton Rouge. Similar to Brown's suit, Sterling's family is claiming that the city's police force has a pattern of racist behavior and excessive force. 37 year-old Sterling was selling CD's outside of a convenience store when he got into a physical altercation with two police officer and ultimately died after being shot six times by one of the officers. Much like Brown, the city was in an uproar following his death. Sterling left behind five children, all named in the wrongful death suit.
Reuters quotes one of the attorneys for the case, "This is not about whether the officers should go to jail. It's about resolving the case for the children who no longer have a father because proper police procedures weren't followed." The civil suit filed by his children are separate from the current investigation by the state attorney general.
Several cities have been held financially responsible for deaths at the hands of police killings. In addition to Michael Brown, here's a look at some of the more high profile payouts in recent years:
- Philando Castille: African American man was shot to death during a traffic stop in Minnesota. His wrongful death suit against the city of St. Anthony recently settled for $3 Million.
- Walter Scott: African American Scott was unarmed and killed during a traffic stop by a police officer in Charleston, South Carolina. It is reported that the city paid his family $6.5 Million.
- Freddie Gray: African American Gray suffered a fatal spine injury in the back of a police transport car. Only 25 at the time of his death, the city of Baltimore paid his family roughly $6.4 Million
- Eric Garner: African American died after being put into a choke hold by a police officer. The city of New York paid his family just under $6 Million in his wrongful death lawsuit.
All these deaths are avoidable tragedies and not only does their wrongful death lawsuits help to provide much-needed financial compensation for their families but hopefully helps to deter future deadly behavior by the police force. There are very important deadlines when it comes to any wrongful death lawsuit, especially when it comes to filing suit against government agencies. If you are dealing with an unjustified killing, do not hesitate to get in touch with us to learn more about your legal options. We are available 24/7 now and throughout the duration of your case to answer your question and provide you the support you need. We look forward to hearing from you.