This afternoon a federal jury concluded that the fatal 2012 police shooting of 25-year-old Manuel Diaz was not an excessive use of force by officers. The shooting created a firestorm of protests in Anaheim at the time as the public reacted to what they thought was another instance of unnecessary police brutality.
The attorneys representing Diaz’ family focused on the absence of a gun on Diaz’ body as proof that police acted with the use of excessive force. However, according to one jury member, due to the heightened gang activity in the area, police could reasonably suspect that a man dressed like a gang member and running from them could have a gun on that block of Anna Drive where the shooting occurred.
Jury foreman Mark Ross stated that the context of the shooting made it reasonable for the officer involved in the shooting, Nick Bennallack, to believe his life and the lives of others were in danger. The verdict dealt a serious blow against the wrongful death civil case of the Diaz family against the City of Anaheim.
Genevieve Huizar, Diaz’s mother, said she was disappointed by the decision but prepared to appeal and continue with her wrongful death case against the city. “We’re going to keep fighting day by day,” as, “Justice was not served today, not for my son and not for Orange County,” she said.
If your family is grieving the sudden and tragic loss of a loved one, it is very important that you discuss the details of the accident that caused their death with a knowledgeable Orange County personal injury lawyer that is proficient at representing families in wrongful death lawsuits. It is understandable that dealing with the legal aspects of your loss are difficult to face, but it is imperative that you be made aware of your rights and options, as you may be entitled to a significant financial recovery to help alleviate the financial burdens that are a result of the accident.
If you and your family are grieving the loss of a loved one due to an accident that they were involved in, contact an Orange County wrongful death attorney at our firm now to find out what can be done to protect your legal rights and interests.