WFMY reported that a teenager was killed during a traffic stop along the 4900 block of W. Market Street in Greensboro, North Carolina.
According to the police, the officer pulled over the driver for a traffic violation around 9 p.m. on Sunday, August 21, 2022. It was then he discovered the car was stolen. However, as the officer was walking up to the car, the driver sped off. When police caught up to the vehicle again, the two passengers, a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old got out and ran. While attempting to detain the two passengers, the driver hit the gas, crashing into the patrol cruiser. As the driver pressed on the gas again, the police officer fired shots in his direction. The driver died at the scene.
The officer has been placed on administrative duty, per policy, while an internal investigation is being conducted. This investigation will determine if the officer followed the Greensboro Police Department policies during the incident.
Attorney contributor Kristen Beightol represents victims of violent crime in North Carolina. Kristen recently sat down with us to discuss the legal rights available for the surviving loved ones of victims fatally shot by police.
"Police officers have a duty to protect and serve the communities they patrol. In some cases, police work can be chaotic, leading to violations of civilian rights. These instances can result in injury or death. Individuals who lost a loved one due to an officer's negligent behavior can file a civil lawsuit if it can be proven that excessive force was taken. It can be challenging for the courts to determine liability because officers are put in dangerous situations and often need to make split-second decisions."
"This type of lawsuit can be filed against the city or police department. Police officers can receive qualified immunity in injury claims if there is no willful violation of the established law. It is possible to file a wrongful death lawsuit if they failed to follow policies approved by their department. When the officers of the law are involved, building a case can be difficult."
"No amount of compensation can make up for the loss of a loved one, but a wrongful death attorney can help the surviving family members get the settlement they deserve. An experienced attorney can help throughout the whole process by securing medical documents, obtaining police reports, and tracking evidence to build a case."