Latest News 2012 December Third Allegation Against Officer, Involving Excessive Force or Shooting, Results in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Third Allegation Against Officer, Involving Excessive Force or Shooting, Results in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against a Ventura County police officer for violating police policies, and the civil rights of the man he shot to death, as reported by the Ventura County Star.

The widow of M.L. is suing Officer E.J. in federal court. The lawsuit was filed in May 2012, a year after the fatal shooting.

Officer E.J. was responding to a domestic violence call when police allege that M.L. rushed him while carrying a thin kitchen knife. In response to the implied threat, Officer E.J. shot at M.L. several times to stop him.

However, the lawsuit argues that M.L. was not a threat, there is no mention of a knife and M.L. tried to halt the shooting when he allegedly said, "Enough! I give up."

The Ventura police department cleared officer E.J. of any wrongdoing. His actions were deemed justified for what he was encountering: the fear of loosing his life. The 10-year veteran officer was put on leave and then allowed to return to duty.

Attorney Andrew Krause is representing M.L.'s widow, L.L.. Krause said, "There are tons of other methods of less lethal force that could have been used."

According to court records Officer E.J. is currently facing an excessive force lawsuit in regards to a 2007 incident. While employed as a deputy with the Kern County Sheriff's Department E.J. shot a bystander.

According to Kern County Senior Deputy M.W., the bystander, a local pastor, was shot while E.J. was giving chase to a suspect. A bullet was shot into the pastor's back, just below his shoulder blade, and was not considered life threatening.

In the Kern County incident, just like the current Ventura County incident, E.J. was placed on administrative leave and then was cleared by the department of any wrongdoing.

A third lawsuit, this time filed due to an excessive force incident, is due to a beating inflicted on a man in August of 2010. Unknown assailants in a Ventura bar beat the victim – and then E.J., and other unknown assailants, allegedly beat him a second time.

Along with E.J., also listed as defendants in the lawsuit are the city of Ventura and its police department. The victim's attorney, Christopher Hinkle has alleged that the in this incident E.J. "was not put on leave, nothing happened to him."

E.J. has been ordered not to discuss any of the litigation against him, according to Ventura Police Cmdr. D.W.

Cmdr. D.W. said that every case of excessive force, or an officer-involved shooting, is investigated. He also stated that a background check is done on every recruit.

Cmdr D.W. commented, "Some people we don't hire, but if we do, we are very confident of their background and what they have done."

Have you lost a loved on in what you believe may have been a wrongful death? Then you must contact a personal injury lawyer for help filing a lawsuit for your damages!