STOP EXCESSIVE POLICE FORCE

Police misconduct and excessive force are at epidemic levels in America. Our mission is to stamp it out. We seek real justice – not just a payout. We focus on criminal prosecution of violent cops, as well as financial recovery for victims. Contact us today, so we can get to work for you.

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GETTING
JUSTICE FOR

Police ShootinGs

A police shooting is only justified when it occurred as a last resort and it was necessary to save a life. If you or a family member have been shot by a police officer and it was not justified, we want to hear your story and fight for justice on your behalf.

False Arrest

Police officers may only place someone under arrest when there is sufficient evidence to do so. They are required to conduct investigations objectively and by the rules. If you or a family member were arrested for a crime that you didn’t commit and the charges were thrown out or you won the case at trial we want to hear your story and fight for justice on your behalf.

Excessive Force

Police Officers are only permitted to use the amount of force necessary to do their job. If you or a family member have been injured by a police officer using excessive force, we want to hear your story and fight for justice on your behalf.

What Constitutes Excessive Force?

Police officers may be held liable for the use of excessive force during arrests, investigative stops or other types of seizures. When police use excessive force against an individual, the individual or their estate can sue under the federal statute 42 U.S. Code § 1983. A claim under this statute alleges that the individual’s constitutional rights were violated by the excessive use of force. In order to prove a 1983 claim for excessive force, a party must first prove that the officer was acting under the “color of law.” That means the officer was acting under their authority as a police officer. Second, the party must prove that the individual’s rights, privileges or immunities guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution were deprived.

POLICE SHOOTINGS

When a police officer unnecessarily uses their firearm against an individual.

TASERS

When a police officer unnecessarily uses a taser against an individual.

CHOKEHOLDS

When a police officer unnecessarily uses a chokehold against an individual.

PEPPER SPRAY

When a police officer unnecessarily uses pepper spray against an individual.

Whether or not a police officer used excessive force is determined by a “reasonableness” standard that was established in the U.S. Supreme Court case Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386 (1989). In order to determine whether or not an officer’s use of excessive force was “reasonable,” courts conduct a balancing test between the intrusion on the individual’s rights and the government interest that was sought during the police encounter. Id. at 396. This analysis requires looking at the specific facts in each individual case, such as whether or not an individual posed a threat to the officer or others or whether the individual was attempting to evade arrest. Id. Courts are not to look at what the individual officer’s subjective intentions and thought process were during the incident, but instead what a reasonable officer would have believed if in the same situation. Id. at 397-398.

Even in instances when an officer’s use of excessive force was unreasonable, the officer may be entitled to “qualified immunity,” a legal doctrine that protects government officials from lawsuits in performance of their duties. If an officer believes their conduct could be lawful, based on the circumstances, they will be protected by immunity. However, an officer that knows their conduct is unlawful will not be protected. Harlow v. Fitzgerald, 457 U.S. 800 (1982). In order for a claim against a police officer to survive a qualified immunity defense, the right that was violated needs to be clearly established by law, and needs to be clearly established enough so that the officer violating the right would have understood what they were doing violated the right. Anderson v. Creighton, 483 U.S. 625 (1987).

Existing Investigations

Ahmaud Arbery

BRUNSWICK, GA

Details

On February 23, 2020, Ahmaud Arbery was jogging through the affluent neighborhood of Satilla Shores in Brunswick, Georgia. Gregory McMichael, a former district attorney investigator and police officer, joined his son Travis and chased Arbery down in their truck, armed with guns.

The McMichaels live in the neighborhood and their neighbor, William Bryan, got into his car and helped chase down Arbery, filming the encounter. Eventually, the McMichaels pulled out in front of Arbery. Arbery attempted to run around the truck with the two armed men. Gregory McMichael told Arbery to stop, and Travis McMichael pointed his shotgun at Arbery. Arbery engaged Travis McMichael to disarm him, but McMichael shot Arbery twice, killing him.

After the killing, the local police department was slow to release information to the public. Three different prosecutors were forced to recuse themselves from the case, including one who suggested the McMichaels’ actions constituted a legitimate citizens arrest, despite them not viewing Arbery in commission of a crime and clearly murdering Arbery in broad daylight. Eventually, Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael and William Bryan were all charged in connection with the murder of Arbery. McEldrew Young is currently pursing an investigation on behalf of Arbery’s family, with the intention of filing civil lawsuits against all three suspects for Arbery’s wrongful death, as well as against the local government and police department.

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George Floyd

MINNEAPOLIS, MN

Details

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was detained by four police officers outside of a grocery store in Minneapolis. Police claimed that Floyd was resisting during the encounter – a claim that was directly contradicted by clear video evidence outside the door.

During the encounter, officer Derek Chauvin forced his knee down onto Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes. Despite Floyd not resisting, and repeatedly indicating to him that he “can’t breathe,” Chauvin continued to violently press his knee down onto his neck. Chauvin killed Floyd through the unnecessary use of force.

All four officers were fired. After loud public outcry over the incident, officer Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder four days later. McEldrew Young is currently conducting an investigation on behalf of Floyd’s family.

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Jemel Roberson

CHICAGO, IL

Details

Jemel Roberson was a security guard and a resident of Chicago, Illinois. On November 11, 2018, he was providing security at the bar Manny’s Blue Room in Robbins, Illinois. A fight broke out at the bar and shots were fired from one of the patrons, striking the bartender. The police were called and Mr. Roberson, doing his job, apprehended one of the assailants outside of the bar.

Midlothian Police Officer Ian Covey, a responding officer, ordered Roberson to drop his gun, despite the fact witnesses said Roberson was wearing a vest with “SECURITY” written on it. Within only a few seconds of issuing this command, Officer Covey shot and killed Roberson, despite no provocation from Mr. Roberson.

More than a year after killing Mr. Roberson, Officer Covey has not been charged. McEldrew Young has filed a lawsuit against Officer Covey and the Village of Midlothian on behalf of Mr. Roberson’s estate for the unconstitutional use of excessive and deadly force.

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Jeffrey Dennis

PHILADELPHIA, PA

Details

Mr. Dennis was driving through North Philadelphia when two unmarked cars filled with six undercover narcotics officers began to follow him. Without the use of sirens, lights, or any other indication they were with law enforcement, the unmarked cars boxed Mr. Dennis’s vehicle in. Philadelphia Police Officer Richard Nicolleti, one of the undercover officers, joined the other five officers and surrounded Mr. Dennis’ car.

A witness said the officers, who were in plainclothes, did not properly identify themselves as officers. Officer Nicolleti drew his gun and pointed it in the window. Mr. Dennis, fearing for his life, attempted to flee in his vehicle. Mr. Nicolleti fired three shots into the passenger-side window, striking Mr. Dennis in the head and chest, killing him.

Philadelphia prosecutors failed to charge Officer Nicolleti for this unjustified killing. McEldrew Young has filed a lawsuit against Officer Nicolleti, the Philadelphia Police Department and the City of Philadelphia on behalf of Mr. Dennis’ estate.

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CAMERON LAMB

KANSAS CITY, MO

Details

On December 3, 2019, Kansas City police entered the backyard of 26-year-old Camron Lamb after pursuing Mr. Lamb for an alleged traffic offense. Once Mr. Lamb got to his residence, two plainclothes officers entered the backyard.

Mr. Lamb, a father of three, was in the yard and saw the officers approaching him. Fearing for his safety on his own property, and likely unsure of the identity of the officers since they were not in police uniforms, drew his gun to protect himself and his property. One of the plainclothes detectives shot and killed Lamb in his own backyard.

Jackson County prosecutors are currently reviewing the case. McEldrew Young is representing Mr. Lamb’s family and pursuing potential claims against the officers, police department and city.

O’Shae Terry

ARLINGTON, TX

Details

On September 8, 2018, O’Shae Terry was driving in Arlington, Texas, when he was pulled over by Arlington Police Officer Julie Herlihy for an allegedly expired registration tag. Terry and his passenger, Terrence Harmon, provided Herlihy proper IDs. However, Herlihy continued to detain the two because she claimed she smelled marijuana in the car.

Officer Bau Tran arrived at the scene and approached the passenger side of the vehicle. He ordered Mr. Terry to shut off the vehicle, and Mr. Terry complied. Officer Tran continued to ask the two multiple questions and Mr. Terry rolled up the window and began to slowly move the vehicle forward. At that point, Officer Tran jumped onto the side of the vehicle, pointed his service weapon in the car and fired four shots. Mr. Terry later died at the hospital.

Officer Tran was fired and charged with homicide. On behalf of Mr. Terry’s estate, McEldrew Young has sued Officer Tran for the unlawful killing of Mr. Terry, as well as against the Arlington Police Department and the City of Arlington for a pattern of racial discrimination.

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Atatiana Jefferson

FORT WORTH, TX

Details

Atatiana Jefferson was a 28-year-old woman living in Fort Worth, Texas. She was a graduate student who planned on going to medical school. On Saturday, October 12, 2019, she was up late at night playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew at her mother’s house. That night, Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean and responded to a call from a neighbor concerned about a door being ajar at the home.

When Dean and another officer arrived, they stalked the outside of the residence. After seeing Ms. Jefferson through the window of the home, Dean – without identifying himself as a police officer – instantly pointed and fired his weapon at Ms. Jefferson, killing her. Mr. Dean was charged with murder after an unusually swift action from local prosecutors. On behalf of Ms. Jefferson’s family, McEldrew Young is currently pursuing an excessive force claim against the officer and the police department.

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Michael Dean

TEMPLE, TX

Details

On December 2, 2019, 28-year-old Michael Dean was driving through Temple, Texas. He was stopped by Temple police officer Carmen DeCruz. Video shows that DeCruz walked up to the driver-side window and pointed his gun – with his finger on the trigger – at Dean while attempting to get the keys out of the vehicle. While using his left hand to pull the keys out, DeCruz pulled the trigger on his firearm despite no provocation, striking and killing Dean. Mr. Dean was unarmed.

After the killing, the Temple Police Department decided to clean Mr. Dean’s vehicle before it could be inspected. After more than three months, the local district attorney finally decided to charge DeCruz with manslaughter. McEldrew Young is currently pursuing an investigation on behalf of Dean’s family regarding the unlawful killing of Mr. Dean and the tampering of evidence by cleaning the car.

ANTWON ROSE

PITTSBURGH, PA

Details

Antwon Rose was a 17-year-old living in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. On June 19, 2018, police officers pulled over a vehicle in which Mr. Rose was a passenger. One of the officers, Michael Rosefeld, began shouting threatening commands at Mr. Rose and the other passengers. Rosefeld ordered Mr. Rose and the other passengers out of the car.

Mr. Rose, unarmed and fearing for his life, fled from the car. Mr. Rosefeld drew his gun and, without issuing any warning fired three shots, striking Mr. Rose in the back. Rosefeld continued to point his weapon at Mr. Rose despite him lying there in pain, posing no threat. Mr. Rose died from his injuries at the hospital.

McEldrew Young filed a lawsuit against the officer, the police department and the city on behalf of Mr. Rose’s family, securing a $2 million settlement.

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Ronald Greene

MONROE, LA
Details
On May 10, 2019, Ronald Greene was traveling along the highway in Monroe, Louisiana when Louisiana State Trooper Dakota Demoss attempted to pull Greene’s vehicle for an unknown and undisclosed traffic violation. Greene continued driving his vehicle until his vehicle swerved, spun out and crashed into a wooded area. Despite the car accident, Greene was not injured and exited the vehicle without assistance.

After exiting his vehicle, Greene was confronted by Trooper Demoss and Trooper Chris Hollingsworth. Greene apologized for not stopping earlier, but was suddenly thrown to the ground without provocation. Greene repeatedly apologized to the troopers and cried out in pain as he begged officers to stop their assault on him. Troopers on scene tased Greene at least three times, leading to cardiac arrest and his death. A claim for excessive force is currently being pursued against the troopers involved in Greene’s death.

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Everett Palmer

YORK COUNTY, PA

Details
Everett Palmer was a retired Veteran of the U.S. Army and a father of two living in Delaware. On April 7, 2018, Mr. Palmer voluntarily turned himself to police in on an open DUI charge in York County, Pennsylvania. He was transferred to the York County jail. Two days later, Palmer was pronounced dead after being transported from his cell to the hospital.

The autopsy was then outsourced to a private company. While the forensic pathologist was not able to reach a conclusion about the cause of death because some of Palmer’s organs were missing, he was able to make findings about what happened to Palmer while he was in custody. According to the autopsy, Palmer was placed on suicide watch the day he turned himself in.

While in his cell, he began banging his head against the cell door. A correction officer entered the cell with a tactical shield, while a second officer entered and used a taser on Palmer twice. Multiple officers entered to restrain him, using physical control techniques, shackles, handcuffs, a restraint chair, and a hood over his head to stop him from spitting. While no cause of death was given, the autopsy listed four contributing factors: efforts to restrain Palmer, methamphetamine toxicity, sickle cell trait, and complications from an excited state. It also ruled out heart attack, brain injury or suicide. Multiple abrasions, contusions and lacerations were found on Palmer’s head and extremities.

McEldrew Young is currently pursuing litigation on behalf of Palmer’s family, and hopes the evidence uncovered during their investigation leads to criminal charges. The firm has also filed a civil rights lawsuit against the county prison board, the prison guards, the local district attorney, and other officials for Palmer’s unlawful killing and the subsequent cover-up.

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DaQuan Huey

TEXARKANA, TX

Details
DaQuan Huey was 17-years old on January 27, 2019 when he was breaking up a fight that had started among neighbors outside of their houses in Texarkana, Texas. The neighborhood fight involved several people and DaQuan made efforts to separate people from the fights and retrieve any weapons that could have been used to harm other neighbors. As DaQuan was breaking up one of these fights he was nearly stabbed by a neighbor’s knife. DaQuan began backpedaling away from the neighbor when Officer Scott Lillis grabbed DaQuan from behind and attempted to take him down.

Within seconds of grabbing DaQuan, Lillis shoots his JPX pepper spray pistol directly into DaQuan’s left eye, causing him permanent blindness in that eye. As DaQuan bled out from his eye he was also charged with resisting arrest, although he was not aware that an officer had grabbed him during this encounter. A claim for excessive force is currently being pursued against the officer and the City of Texarkana.

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Zion Car

FORTH WORTH, TX
Details
Zion Carr was only 8 years old when his aunt Atatiana Jefferson was killed by Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean on October 12, 2019. Zion and Atatiana were playing video games late that night and had the house door open to allow a cool breeze to enter the home. A concerned neighbor alerted the police that a wellness check should be done on the home. When Dean arrived at the home he proceeded to the backyard and shot and killed Atatiana within seconds of seeing her through a window.

Zion witnessed his aunt’s death and was subsequently taken by police for questioning without alerting Zion’s family or an attorney that he was being questioned. A claim against the City of Fort Worth is being pursued on behalf of Zion for the illegal detention and questioning by the city’s detectives.

Rashad Madden

DALLAS, TX

Details
On May 28, 2019, 29-year-old Rashad Madden was hiding beneath a vehicle outside when police encountered Madden and attempted to retrieve him. Officers with the Dallas Police Department quickly resorted to lethal force when one officer fired at least one gunshot at Madden after failing to remove him from underneath the vehicle. The bullet missed Madden, but police continued to use excessive force.

At least one Dallas police officer then used a stun gun repeatedly on Madden until officers were able to remove him from underneath the vehicle. The repeated use of the stun gun on Madden rendered him unconscious and he subsequently went into a coma. Madden died two months after being hospitalized for his injuries during the assault. The case is currently being investigated for a claim of excessive force against the City of Dallas and the officers involved in the assault.

Paris Hunter

KILLEEN, TX

Details
On February 18, 2020, 29-year-old Paris Hunter was driving in Killeen, Texas when Officer Devonte Johnson pulled over Hunter’s vehicle for allegedly having an obscured license plate. Although the City of Killeen has refused to turn over critical body camera video of the encounter, Johnson claims that Hunter was making movements inside of the vehicle that caused him concern.

As Hunter allegedly attempted to exit the vehicle, Johnson discharged his service weapon, striking Hunter with a bullet in his upper left shoulder. Evidence points to the fact that Hunter was shot inside of his vehicle and never exited the vehicle. Hunter survived the encounter and was hospitalized for the gunshot wound. A claim for excessive force is being pursued against the City of Killeen and the city has been unresponsive in disclosing crucial information and video from the encounter.

Brandon Legette

COLUMBIA, SC
Details
On August 26, 2019, police officers pulled Brandon Legette over in the parking lot of a grocery store in Columbia, South Carolina. During the stop, officers tried to physically remove Legette from his vehicle. Legette attempted to drive away but one of the officers stayed on the vehicle. The officer pulled out his gun and fired twice at the back of Legette’s head.

One of the bullets passed through the back of his head and out his forehead. Legette survived, but is currently in custody. Despite suffering a gunshot wound to his head and complaining of headaches, Legette has only received one CT Scan since he was jailed.

McEldrew Young Purtell is currently pursuing an investigation on behalf of Legette with the intent of pursing litigation against the officer who shot him, as well as against the local police department and the city.

Donnie Sanders

KANSAS CITY, MO

Details
Around 11 p.m. on March 12, 2020, a Kansas City police officer attempted to pull Mr. Sanders over as he was driving from his girlfriend’s house to his sister’s house. Mr. Sanders pulled his vehicle over, got out of the car, and began to run away. Sanders was unarmed, but the responding officer later claimed he believe he had a weapon because he raised his arm in the air. The officer yelled at him to drop his weapon then fired his gun at Sanders, striking him. Sanders was transported to the hospital where he died.

Kansas City police have still not released the name of the officer who killed Sanders. The officer was initially placed on administrative leave but has since been reassigned to the patrol bureau. McEldrew Young Purtell is currently pursuing an investigation on behalf of Sanders’ behalf with the intention to pursue litigation against the officer who killed Sanders, the police department and the city.

Steve Taylor

SAN LEANDRO, TX

Details
On April 18, 2020, police were called to a WalMart in San Leandro, California. Cellphone video of what happened that day shows Steve Taylor in the store, clearly distressed, holding a baseball bat. Taylor suffered from schizophrenia and was bipolar. The video shows two officers, with one pointing his gun at Taylor. Taylor begins to back away and turns away from the officers, tossing the bat to the side. After Taylor tossed the bat aside, one of the officers shot Taylor, killing him.

Taylor’s mother wasn’t informed about Taylor’s death until the following day when she received a call from the coroner. The local police department still has not identified the officers who killed Taylor. McEldrew Young Purtell is currently pursuing litigation against the officers, the City of San Leandro and the police department.

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Demetrius Williams

MARSHALL, TX
Details
Police Officers in Marshall, Texas, went to a residence on December 5, 2019, to execute a search warrant. Demetrius Williams was there and attempted to drive away from the officers. The responding officers proceeded to fire 32 shots at Williams’ vehicle. The officers hit Williams 17 times and killed him.

Witnesses at the scene told Williams’ family that the officers continued to fire at Williams even after his car stopped. When Williams’ mother arrived at the hospital, she asked the officers what happened to her son. Most of the officers simply told her they didn’t know hat happened. One officer gave a short explanation of why her son was dead: “He tried to run.”

McEldrew Young Purtell is currently pursuing an investigation on behalf of Williams’ family, with the intent of filing litigation against the officers who killed Williams, as well as the City of Marshall and the local police department.

Katrentis McCulloch

CLARKSVILLE, TX

Details
Karentis McCulloch was at her aunt’s house in Clarksville, Texas, on February 27, 2020. She got into a verbal argument with her cousin and police were called to the home. Officers with the Clarskville Police Department and the Red River Sherriff’s Department arrived and told McCulloch she had to leave. McCulloch left but returned shortly after to retrieve her clothes. Police told her she was trespassing, would be taken into custody and tried to remove her from her vehicle.

McCulloch attempted to leave and began reversing out of the driveway. Police claimed she hit two officers while backing up. Without hesitating, officers began firing at McCulloch. She was struck twice, including once in the head. A brief pursuit ensued and during the chase McCulloch stopped her car and exited. The responding officers then ran McCulloch over. McCulloch died from gunshot wounds and blunt force trauma. McEldrew Young Purtell is currently pursuing an investigation on behalf of McCulloch’s family, with the intention of pursuing litigation against the officers who killed her as well as against the Clarksville Police Department and the Red River Sherriff’s Department.

Lou Liggins

DUNCANVILLE, TX

Details
On March 20, 2018, Lou Liggins was experiencing a mental health episode after he stopped taking his prescribed medications. Lou’s mother, Mary Brown, called their healthcare provider to request assistance, but she was instructed by the provider to instead call 911 for assistance. Despite her reluctance to call the police, Mary dialed 911 and explained to dispatch that Lou was suffering a mental health episode, but that he was unarmed and not dangerous.

Mary was repeatedly given assurances by the police that they would not shoot Lou and that a negotiating team would be sent to the home. Despite these assurances, Duncanville police officers stormed the home with guns drawn and shot Lou in his stomach as he reached for his cellphone. One officer even exclaimed to the shooting officer, “What the hell are you doing?” immediately after the shooting. Lou was able to survive the shooting, but has lasting pain, physical limitations and trauma from the shooting. A claim for excessive force is currently being pursued against the officer and the City of Duncanville.

Timothy Simonson

NEWARK, NJ
Details
In 2019, Newark Police Lieutenant John Formisano filed for divorce from his wife, Christie Solaro, and moved out of the home they were living in together. Solaro began dating again and met Timothy Simonson. The two began dating for a few weeks and on July 14, 2019, Solaro invited Simonson over after put children to bed. The two were enjoying a quiet evening together when, around 10:30 p.m., Lt. Formisano called Solaro and asked to speak to his daughter, who was already in bed.

An hour later, Solaro got another phone call. She also saw a flashlight shining into the window. Worried it was Lr. Formisano, she went to the door. At this point, Simonson heard three gunshots. Lt. Formisano then immediately went to the room where Simonson was, kicked in the door, and fired his gun at Simonson six times, striking him in the arms, legs and stomach. Lt. Formisano then went back to the front of the house and shoot Solaro, killing her, before fleeing.

Simonson was able to crawl to the phone and call 911. He survived but had to undergo emergency surgery and get a metal rod in his leg because the shots from Lt. Formisano destroyed his femur. The injuries forced Simonson out of work and he is undergoing intense rehabilitation to regain full use of his leg. McEldrew Young Purtell is currently pursuing litigation against Lt. Formisano, the City of Newark and the police department for the violation of Simonson’s constitutional rights.

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+1,000

OVER 1,000 CIVILIANS were killed by police in 2019

“Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation.”

- Coretta Scott King

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