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Ferguson Deadly Force Debate

The Ferguson, Missouri community continues to grapple with the recent events of the death of an eighteen-year-old teen by a police officer. Allegedly, police have reported there was a struggle between the teen and a police officer within the car, which included the teen attempting to grab a gun. The teen was shot once in the car, and then again after leaving the car. Hundreds of people gathered near the site after the teen's death. Peaceful vigils ended violent, with some individuals looting stores in the community. An investigation has commenced, and local leaders have pledged to be as transparent as possible to the community.

St. Louis Public Radio featured an article regarding when the police are allowed to use deadly force (see the above link for the full story). The article features a 1972 case where an eighteen-year-old St. Louis County male was shot by a police officer while burglarizing a golf club. The ALCU sued on behalf of the teen's constitutional rights. After the subsequent 1985 Garner decision, the Supreme Court established that deadly force was no longer standard police practice for effective law enforcement. A Saint Louis University School of Law professor is quoted in the article, citing that it was his understanding that legally, a fleeing unarmed suspect who wasn't dangerous could not be shot.

More details regarding the incident will need to come to light before the family or an organization like the ALCU can effectively litigate what the eighteen-year-old Ferguson teen's constitutional rights were when he was shot. Hopefully the current investigation can bring some transparency and healing to the Ferguson community as it deals with this trauma.

Wrongful death claims can be the most difficult types of cases to litigate. These cases are often very emotionally charged, and it takes a skilled practitioner to put emotion aside and make the best arguments for the family of the victim. However, that attorney has to be emotionally invested in the case as well. The family of attorneys at Meyerkord & Kurth, LLC have experience with wrongful death cases and can help you recover the judgment you deserve. Please call (314) 436-9958 or (800) 391-4318 for a no-obligation consultation regarding your potential case.

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