Relatives of man killed in the skid row shooting case are filing claims against LAPD officers for excessive force, assault and battery, wrongful death, and Constitutional violations. The lawsuit asks for $20 million in damages.
Battery by Peace Officer In Skid Row Shooting Case
To establish a claim for battery in California against a police officer, the relatives of the man killed in the skid row shooting must prove all of the following: (if any element is missing, there is no battery by a police officer)
1. That LAPD officers touched the deceased or caused the deceased to be touched;
2. That the LAPD officers’ used unreasonable force to (arrest/prevent the escape of/overcome the resistance of) the deceased;
3. That the deceased did not consent to the use of that force;
4. That the man killed in the skid row shooting was harmed; and
5. That the LAPD officers’ use of unreasonable force was a substantial factor in causing the deceased’s harm.
As any person can see, the skid row shooting case (and most police officer battery cases) is going to turn on whether the LAPD used unreasonable force.
A peace officer may use reasonable force to arrest or detain a person when he or she has reasonable cause to believe that that person has committed a crime. Even if the police officer is mistaken, a person being arrested or detained has a duty not to use force to resist the police officer unless the police officer is using unreasonable force.
When California jury’s decide whether a police officer used unreasonable force, they must determine the amount of force that would have appeared reasonable to a police officer in the LAPD’s position under the same or similar circumstances. California juries consider these 3 factors in a case like the skid row shooting:
1. The seriousness of the crime at issue;
2. Whether the deceased reasonably appeared to pose an immediate threat to the safety of the police officers or others; and
3. Whether the deceased was actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest.
Thus, the major questions in the skid row shooting case are:
– For what crime was the deceased being arrested or detained?
– Did the deceased appear to pose an immediate threat to the officers at the time of the arrest or detainment?
– Did the deceased grab for the officer’s gun or actively resist arrest?