Tear it all down


Despite having lived on this earth for almost half a century, I am still learning every day. I have tried to always be open minded as I have viewed life as a journey where I am on a constant quest for knowledge. But, for example, I didn’t know what ‘social distancing’ was, and now it appears as a widespread phenomenon that has saved countless lives. Another thing I didn’t know about was police department abolition….

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A Police Shooting Case

I am exhausted. I guess I left the settlement memo for the last minute, thinking that, in cases like this, settlement conferences, like the one scheduled for next week, are a total waste of time. These cases are HARD, and the city invariably does not want to settle, especially considering that Philadelphia has no money.

Here’s the deal. A mother and her fifteen-year-old son are at home. The son is a troubled guy who has been away for a few months at a residential facility for kids who are having a tough time with conventional public schooling. Anyway, the kid is giving mom a hard time and she calls the cops.

Two officers arrive and, to make a long story short, the kid is at the top of the stairs with a clothes iron. A moment later, one shot is fired and the kid is fatally wounded in the chest. He eventually dies in front of his mom, right there in the living room.

So, the only question in my civil case (this is not a criminal matter) is whether the shooter believed there was an imminent threat to his life. The cops get huge leeway in this situation, and they should. Would you want their job?

So, I figured this case is just going to trial and that’s that. Why should I worry about the settlement conference? But the more time I spent reading depositions and looking at evidence, the more I thought we might get somewhere with this one. I mean, an iron? Come on!

I ended up working late and putting together something a bit more complicated and detailed than I had originally planned. Who knows? Maybe we can find some justice out there yet.