The family of Rachel Hoffman will file a wrongful-death lawsuit against the city today for the Tallahassee Police Department's role in her death, according to the family's attorney. The 23-year-old Florida State University graduate was killed in May while working as a confidential informant when a department-led drug bust went bad.
The lawsuit will not specify how much money Hoffman's parents are seeking in the civil lawsuit, but their attorney, Lance Block, said it will be in the multi-millions.
"It's a huge case," Block said.
(comment: We have to agree with Mr. Block . Though not because of the amount of money that the Tallahassee Taxpayers may end up paying out, though in these economic times the citizens of Tallahassee will be further punished for the actions of a police department tarnished by the top brass.
No amount of money can replace a child, but sadly in this day and time it is the only way to catch the attention of those who would abuse their positions of power in offices that are designed to serve the citizens and protect their rights.
What is even more disheartening is the lack of uproar coming from the communities citizens. Many of whom are, to this day, only vaguely familiar with the case and pass it off as the police doing their job. Despite excellent reporting on this particular issue by the Tallahassee Democrat (we only wish they would cover other stories as well).
All to many have only to hear the words drug dealer and police to make the assumption that the police must have been doing their job. When they should have been doing everything in their power to insure that the Tallahassee Police Department assumed responsibility instead of trying to duck it with head in sand, or up ass.
Chief Jones is still Chief of Police. And for that the citizens of Tallahassee will pay a huge price.)
Any award more than $200,000 would have to be approved through a claims bill by the state Legislature. A place-holder bill has already been filed by state Sen. Al Lawson.
The city had hoped to reach a settlement with the Hoffman family through mediation before they filed their lawsuit. Filing now doesn't close the door on that, Block said; mediation is a required step in the civil-court process.
Two men, Andrea Green, 26, of Perry, and Deneilo Bradshaw, 23, of Tallahassee, are in the Leon County Jail awaiting trial on charges of killing Hoffman.
But the Police Department has also been condemned for its handling of the operation, which involved sending Hoffman out alone with $13,000 to buy drugs and a handgun from the suspected dealers and then losing her.
A Leon County grand jury said in a scathing report earlier this year that police were negligent in her death.
Reviews by both the state Attorney General's Office and the department's Internal Affairs Division found officers violated TPD's own policies and procedures. Hoffman's main contact, Investigator Ryan Pender, was fired for his role and four supervisors were suspended for two weeks without pay. Pender is fighting his termination.
(comment: Pender should fight his termination. Why should he be fired and the brass keep their jobs. Penders termination wil be justified when the rest of the brass go with him.)Add to Technorati Favorites