A judge made sense of the Law? What is this world coming to?
- Two weeks before the release of video in Laquan McDonald's shooting thrust the issue of Chicago police brutality into the national spotlight, Priscilla Price sat in a nearly empty Cook County courtroom as a jury found that a cop had killed her 19-year-old son without justification in 2011.
Price's sense of relief was short-lived, however. In a controversial move, the judge overseeing the case negated the jury's award of $3.5 million in damages and instead found in favor of the city. It turned out that the jury, in answering a written question as part of its verdict, had found that the officer had a reasonable belief that his life was in danger when he opened fire.
We'll see if it stands on appeal, but the logic is inescapable - you can't ruled "unjustified" if the officer was in fear for his life - he is by default, justified. And to find the City liable to the tune of $3.5 million over a justifiable shooting because you feel sorry for the plaintiff is improper.