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Louisiana Police Shooting Raises Wrongful Death Concerns

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Sometimes police officers make fatal mistakes that can cost innocent victims their lives. A recent incident in Kenner, Louisiana, has local citizens up in arms after a 24-year-old man was shot in the head. The man was found lying inside a car that was identified as stolen. Although it is not yet clear whether a wrongful death suit will be filed in the case, area residents say the police officers were wrong to shoot the victim. He died just days after he was shot in the head on Nov. 8.

Official reports say that the young man was lying on the front seat of the stolen vehicle when police found it in an alley. A woman had reported the vehicle missing from her Kenner residence on Oct. 24. The suspect's girlfriend, age 20, said the driver had dropped her off at her residence in the car minutes before the shooting.

According to police, the officer in the case was standing in front of the car when he asked the suspect to exit the vehicle. Instead of getting out of the car, police say the victim started the car and began to drive it toward the officer in the narrow alleyway. Authorities say they later found a firearm in the vehicle's console.

Despite those allegations, neighbors say they know the man would never try to run over a police officer. They contend that the driver would be more likely to accept his punishment. Further, relatives assert that the man may not have even known that the car was stolen ? a claim that could explain his confusing behavior.

The officer who fired the fatal shot has been taken off the streets pending the conclusion of an internal investigation.

Louisiana residents have a right to safety, even if they are accused of committing a crime. In cases of police shootings, victims' family members may be able to pursue civil claims for wrongful death if the officers are found negligent in their actions.

Source: www.nola.com, "Kenner Police probing fatal officer-involved shooting; suspect's relatives cry foul" Michelle Hunter, Nov. 11, 2013

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