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Officer accused of killing accident victim in wrongful death suit

In New York, we expect that police officers will protect us from harm and help us when we are in an emergency. Most of the time, that is exactly what happens, but sometimes those charged with protecting us fail to do so.

That is what allegedly happened when a police officer shot and killed a former college football player, according to the wrongful death lawsuit filed by his family. The loss of a loved one is hard for anyone, but the family of the victim thinks that a lawsuit will shed light onto exactly what happened in this case.

It all started when the 24-year-old victim got into a car accident one night. He then went to a home nearby, banging on the door in search of help. He was then shot 10 times and killed by a police officer. The police officer has been charged with voluntary manslaughter, and the case will go to a grand jury.

The lawsuit, which is separate from the criminal charges, makes claims of gross negligence, unjustified deadly force and wrongful death. The claim is made against the police and local governments. It is not clear how much in compensation the family is seeking.

The family's attorney hopes that the lawsuit will reveal evidence that he has not been able to obtain so far. This evidence includes footage from the officer's dashboard camera and the officer's personnel record. In addition, the victim's mother hopes the legal action will help improve training for police officers. Although this accident did not happen in New York, hopefully officers across the country will receive better training about how to handle situations like this. 

Source: Chicago News Tribune, "Wrongful death suit filed in case of unarmed man killed by N.C. officer," Emily Harris, Jan. 14, 2014

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