A white Chicago police officer Robert Rialmo who left two people dead after fatally shooting a black teen and killing a neighbor with a stray bullet is now filing a lawsuit for $10 million against the deceased teen’s estate noting that the shooting left him “traumatized.” The officer’s lawyer claims that the lawsuit will serve as an example that officers can “suffer damage like anybody else.” However, some lawyers believe the lawsuit is a move to intimidate the teen’s family as they filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department after the teen was shot during an officer-involved shooting.
— ZERO Filtered (@ZEROFiltered) February 7, 2016
The Daily Mail reports that Chicago police officer Robert Rialmo was responding to a domestic disturbance call when he claims he was attacked by 19-year-old Quintonio LeGrier, a black college engineering student, with a baseball bat. Officer Rialmo says that the teen charged him with the bat and swung it will full force by his head as he was standing just four-feet from the officer. Rialmo claims in the emotional distress lawsuit that he did not fire his weapon when the teen attacked him with the baseball bat the first time, but rather opened fire when the teen swung the bat at his head a second time. When Officer Rialmo fatally shot the teen, the bullet went through his body and hit a 55-year-old neighbor who was standing nearby, Bettie Jones. The neighbor would also die from her wounds. Rialmo’s lawyer, Joel Brodsky, says that since Quintonio forced Rialmo to end his life by threatening his life, his estate should be held responsible for the emotional distress caused by killing an innocent bystander to the police officer.
“The fact that Quintonio’s actions had forced officer Rialmo to end Quintonio’s life and to accidentally take the innocent life of Bettie Jones has caused, and will continue to cause, officer Rialmo to suffer extreme emotional trauma.”
Additionally, Brodsky says that anytime there is an officer-involved shooting the families of the deceased treat it like a “lottery ticket” and immediately file wrongful death lawsuits, such is the case with Quintonio’s family members. He says that with families are just seeking cash payouts and turning a blind eye to the emotional trauma placed on police officers in these cases. Therefore, he says it is not unreasonable to request a $10 million emotional distress payout from the teen’s estate since, according to Rialmo’s account, he was forced to shoot the teen which ultimately led to the innocent bystanders death.
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) February 1, 2016
However, Quintonio LeGrier’s family disagrees and their lawyer is calling the lawsuit by Rialmo a “new low” for the Chicago Police Department saying that “this coward shot a teen in the back…and has the temerity to sue him.” The LeGrier family lawyer also disputes Rialmo’s recollection of the events that transpired leading up to Quintonio’s death noting that other accounts from the scene claim that the teen was 20 to 30 feet away from the officer when he was shot and was not carrying a weapon. Therefore, the family says the teen never should have been shot by Rialmo as the officer was never in danger. In fact, the teen’s family says that Quintonio was the one who called 911 for help that night and would have never attacked an officer as described by Rialmo.
“If you’re calling multiple times for help are you going to charge a police officer and try to hit him with a bat? That’s ridiculous.”
Meanwhile, many lawyers not involved in the case say that the officer will have a hard time winning the emotional distress lawsuit as this is a “known part of the job.” What do you think about Robert Rialmo filing a $10 million lawsuit against the estate of the teen he shot during a domestic disturbance?
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