A traffic stop in LaPlace, Louisiana, turned awry has resulted in a lawsuit being filed against several employees with the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office, including the sheriff. The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the son of a 60-year-old woman who was allegedly shot and killed by a police officer. The lawsuit claims the officer made the wrong call when he shot the woman.
The official story of the events that preceded the woman’s death are as follows: During the early hours of January 24, police stopped a vehicle that had an issue with its headlight. Driving the vehicle was the 60-year-old woman. The stop happened in LaPlace near the intersection of West 5th and Elm streets. During a news conference soon after the incident, a spokesperson for the Louisiana State Police said that the woman refused to get out of her vehicle and then showed a revolver to the officer before leaving the scene. A slow-speed chase reportedly ensued after this that ended at the home of the woman, located at West 2nd and Pine streets. Authorities said the woman refused to get out of the vehicle again and then fired a shot at an officer. The officer returned fire, hitting her in the chest and killing her.
The suit claims a different story, one that does not involve a gun. Many family members have said that she was not known to carry a firearm. Her son claims she was afraid of police officers and when pulled over, decided to drive to her home. The suit says that back-up was called and other units arrived equipped with riot gear and canines. At her home and surrounded by these officers, she became confused and scared, and attempted to respond to a number of demands being made by the police. The son claims that she was shot without provocation.
There are other discrepancies between the two sides of the case. It is unclear how this case will go as it likely depends heavily on the story that is believed.
If you have been affected by a wrongful death, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about the matter to see what your options are. Your attorney may be able to file a civil lawsuit on behalf of your loved one’s estate against those responsible for your loss.