Police shoot Asian man to death in front of his wife. Casper, Meadows,
Schwartz & Cook helps family prove civil rights violations and win
a $1 million recovery.
This case involved the shooting death of Kwanchung Kao by a Rohnert Park
police officer. The tragic event began when Kao returned home after a
late night at a local bar where he was subjected to racial slurs. Upset
by the incident, Kao began acting strangely, removed his shirt and began
yelling, "Neighbors, please help me!"
Kao's neighbors called the police. Defendants, Officers Shields and
Lynch, arrived on the scene in separate patrol cars at 2:16 a.m. Lynch
approached Kao in his patrol car in a manner intended to scare him. Kao
responded by poking the car with a stick. Lynch asked Shields to remain
in his patrol car and called for backup. However, Shields instead exited
his car and confronted Kao.
Kao's wife, the Plaintiff, tried to calm her husband and get the stick
out of his hands. Shields commanded the Plaintiff to stand clear and,
although he was armed with pepper spray and a baton, shot Kao to death
in front of her. The Plaintiff, a registered nurse, attempted to help
her dying husband but the officers once again commanded her to stand clear.
Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook worked with an economist and a police
expert to demonstrate that the civil rights of Kao and his wife had been
violated. After several failed attempts by the Defendants to appeal the
suit, the City of Rohnert Park settled the case for $1 million.
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