$1 Million
Wrongful Death 

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.


City Settles with Family of Man Shot Dead by Police in 1997
Randi Rossman, The Press Democrat, August 14, 2001
“More than four years after a Rohnert Park police officer shot and killed a resident brandishing a fighting stick, Rohnert Park officials have agreed to pay the man’s family $1 million..”

3 Years After Police Shooting, Suit Hinges On How Kao, Officer Seen
James W. Sweeney, The Press Democrat, April 23, 2000
“Relying on expert testimony from a retired police officer and a Florida police academy instructor, lawyers for Kao’s family say Shields came out shooting because he was unprepared for a physical confrontation. “We don’t think Jack Shields should have been on the streets. We’re saying that he violated the decedent’s constitutional rights.” said Andrew Schwartz, another attorney representing Kao’s family.”

Widow Sues Rohnert Park Over Killing by Officer
Bill Wallace, San Francisco Chronicle, February 3, 1998
“The widow of a Rohnert Park man who was shot to death by police last year filed a $50 million federal lawsuit yesterday against the city, its police chief and two officers involved in the shooting. “This man was shot in his front yard, posing no threat to anyone,” attorney Andrew Schwartz said.”

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Every case is different and results depend on their specific circumstances. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.