Los Angeles County Wrongful Death: $1.7M Verdict Awarded in Lawsuit Against LAPD Over Autistic Man's Shooting

February 8, 2011,

A federal jury has awarded the parents of Mohammad Usman Chaudhry $1.7 million for his Los Angeles wrongful death. Chaudhry was autistic. He was shot by ex-LAPD cop Joseph Cruz in March 2008.

Cruz, who was the one who shot the 21-year-old man, says he was acting in self-defense because Chaudhry had tried to attack him with a knife. Chaudhry's parents, however, disagreed with his account of what happened and they filed a police brutality lawsuit. Cruz was later dismissed from the force over dishonesty related to another case.

Los Angeles police brutality lawyers for Chaudry's parents presented DNA test findings that they said showed no sign that he had ever handled the knife that Cruz accused him of using. The jury found that the Cruz had used excessive force and was "reckless, oppressive, and malicious" in his actions.

Now, another Los Angeles wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the LAPD and the city. Reginald Doucet Jr., 25, was fatally shot by an LAPD cop on January 14 in the Playa Vista area after an altercation with cops.

Police arrived in the neighborhood early in the morning because a naked man--Doucet--was yelling incoherently. They tried to apprehend him but he ran off. Following a scuffle, one of the cops shot Doucet twice. Now, his family is claiming negligence, wrongful death, negligent training and hiring, assault, and other allegations over his wrongful death.

Police Brutality
Police violence, which includes the use of unnecessary force, claims lives every year. This type of conduct cannot be condoned. There is no reason why you shouldn't hold the party responsible for harming you or you loved one liable for a serious injury--even if that party is a law enforcement official who was supposedly doing his/her job.

Jury awards $1.7 million in fatal police shooting of autistic man, Los Angeles Times, January 27, 2011

Negligence Claim Filed In Athlete's Death, KSBW, February 2, 2011

Related Web Resource:
Los Angeles Police Department

Related Blog Posts:
$20M Orange County, Wrongful Death Lawsuit Accuses Santa Ana Police of Shooting Man in the Back of the Head, California Injury Lawyers Blog, February 3, 2011

Los Angeles County Wrongful Death Lawsuit Expected in Police Shooting of Long Beach Man Holding Hose Nozzle, California Injury Lawyers Blog, December 17, 2010

Laguna Beach and Orange County, California Settle Taser Lawsuit by Dana Point Man in Wrongful Arrest Case, California Injury Lawyers Blog, November 19, 2010

There are specific steps that must be taken when filing a claim against a California city and its police force. Your Los Angeles personal injury law firm should know how to handle these types of cases, as well as have the experience to gather the evidence necessary to prove you are owed damages.