Police officers involved in fatal shootings may have to face criminal charges, depending on the circumstance. If there are constitutional violations involved, a wrongful death lawsuit may be appropriate.
When the victim gives the police a valid reason to discharge their firearm, however, police officers may avoid criminal charges based on their training capacity.
Georgia Tech student commits “suicide by cop”
According to ABC News, a student from Georgia Tech called police in September 2017 to tell them a man was wielding a knife and possibly a gun around the campus dorms. He gave the police a physical description of himself when asked what the perpetrator looked like.
Four officers arrived at the scene. Upon arrival at the parking deck, they found the student with a multi-tool knife. The student refused to drop his weapon and ignored the officers’ commands, daring them to fire their weapons. One officer shot the student in the chest, leading to his death.
The student wrote three suicide notes, later found by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The student’s parents also confirmed that their son suffered from depression and had attempted suicide two years prior.
Officer will not face charges for the shooting
It was recently ruled that the officer will not face criminal charges for the shooting. The evidence found indicates that the student purposely taunted the police so they would shoot him. The police officer was a member of the force for 16 months at the time. Training records indicate that he had not received training in crisis intervention techniques at that time.
For people who are facing criminal charges, several things will affect the outcome. Doing nothing to defend yourself may be the worst thing you could do.