Jury awards family $1.7M for shooting death of autistic man

27 Jan

Family of victim killed by since-fired LAPD officer awarded $1.7 million is the title of a story by the LA Times.

After deciding this week that a former Los Angeles police officer fired for dishonesty was liable for killing a man, a federal jury Wednesday awarded the victim’s family $1.7 million.

Joseph Cruz killed Mohammad Usman Chaudhry early on a March morning in 2008, when Cruz and his partner encountered the 21-year-old autistic man lying in the bushes alongside a Hollywood apartment building.

The police officer argued that Mr. Chaudhry was using a knife to attack, and the shooting was in self defense. Jurors rejected that claim, in part because DNA on the knife came from only one person–who was not Mr. Chaudhry.

This part really bothers me:

After the verdict, the jury was asked to decide how much money, if any, to award Chaudhry’s parents. Attorneys representing Cruz and the city of Los Angeles had tried to limit the size of the award by arguing that Chaudhry had had a frayed relationship with his parents that lessened their suffering.

Lawyers for the family countered that the parents cared deeply for their son, despite the strain on the relationship caused by his autism.

I wonder how much the attorneys relied upon Mr. Chaudhry’s disability in their attempt to discount his value to his family.

2 Responses to “Jury awards family $1.7M for shooting death of autistic man”

  1. autiemum January 27, 2011 at 08:43 #

    It doesn’t seem desirable that somone can be shot very cheaply if nobody loves them.

  2. Joseph January 27, 2011 at 13:23 #

    So it looks like the knife was planted? Plus the cop is clearly a liar in other regards. Why haven’t there been criminal charges?

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