In Massachusetts, the mother of 16-year-old Anthony McGrath is suing the town of Plymouth, former police chief Robert Pomeroy, and officers Edwin Almeida and Richard Tavares for his wrongful death. McGrath was shot by Almeida and Tavares following a high-speed motor vehicle pursuit on January 10, 2006. The officers were following McGrath because he was a suspect in a liquor store break-in. They fired 11 shots, and the teenager was struck by two of them.
Now, Denise McGrath is seeking unspecified monetary damages for police brutality. Her complaint cites unreasonable and deadly force without legal cause and contends that the two cops were not in any danger when they started shooting at McGrath.
Although Almeida and Tavares were responding to a possible break-in, one did not actually take place. McGrath, however, did not stop his vehicle when he saw that police were pursuing him, even after he drove into a wall.
Denise alleges that one of the fatal bullets struck McGrath in the back after his vehicle had driven past the police officers. By this time, they had left their police cars and were pursuing him on foot. She says her son was afraid of the police officers and was trying to return to his house, which was nearby. Denise says that Tavares and Almeida knew that the teenager was unarmed when they started firing at him.
She is seeking punitive and compensatory damages for McGrath’s wrongful death, including recovery for loss of future wages, protection, service, assistance, care, comfort, companionship, counsel, guidance, society, and advice. Her Massachusetts wrongful death lawsuit also contends that Pomeroy, who is now retired, did not train police officers in how to properly conduct police pursuits, protect people’s civil rights, apprehend suspects, fire weapons, and use deadly force.
An investigation into the incident cleared both Tavares and Almeida of any wrongdoing.
Excessive use of force by any Massachusetts police officer is a violation of a person’s civil rights and can be grounds for a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
Mom of teen shot by Plymouth police sues, Boston Herald, January 7, 2009
Teen’s mother sues police, town for son’s death, WickedLocal.com, January 6, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Police brutality cases on rise since 9/11, USA Today, December 18, 2007
Top 5 Police Brutality Videos, The Huffington Post, January 8, 2009