A lawsuit was filed in federal court on Monday against the Las Vegas police department by the mother of an unarmed, disabled veteran who was shot and killed by the police. The lawsuit alleges that faulty Las Vegas police policies and the use of an AR-15 assault rifle contributed to the death.
On December 12, 2011, Stanley Gibson found himself pinned between two police cars, while he was in his car. When Mr. Gibson failed to respond to commands to exit his vehicle, the Las Vegas police devised a plan for his removal. The plan called for one police officer to break out a car window by shooting it with a beanbag shotgun round, while another officer would douse the inside of the car with pepper spray. However, when the shotgun round was fired, another officer shot seven times, with an AR-15 assault rifle, into Mr. Gibson’s vehicle. Mr. Gibson was pronounced dead at the scene.
The lawsuit alleges that the Las Vegas police department employs “unconstitutional policies, practices and customs.” For example, police were not required to announce over the radio every time an officer pulls out a rifle; that policy has since changed. The lawsuit further alleges that the employment of such polices was the cause of Mr. Gibson’s death.
Mr. Gibson’s mother, Celestine Gibson, is seeking at least $20 million in her lawsuit against the Las Vegas police department. Hopefully, this lawsuit is able to change the policies that brought about Mr. Gibson’s death, so that we, as a society, can avoid tragedies like this in the future.
If you or someone you know has been harmed by the intentional wrongs of a government entity or a private individual, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or 800-594-4884.