Jury awards more than $5M to Portland man shot by police
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A federal jury awarded millions of dollars in damages to a Portland man who was shot and wounded by police he mistook for intruders.
Jurors on Tuesday found the officers liable for battery and negligence when they failed to identify themselves while going through the man’s yard in March 2012 to surround the home of a suspect wanted for attempted murder, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported .
Adalberto Flores-Haro went outside to yell at the unknown figures. When they told him to go back inside, he returned with a gun and was shot in the abdomen and elbow.
His lawyer, David Park, told jurors during his closing argument that the officers entered the property without permission, never identified themselves and didn’t warn Flores-Haro that he’d be shot if he got a gun.
The officers fired 14 times. Several bullets pierced the walls of the Flores-Haro’s home. Five children were in the home at the time.
“They treated Mr. Flores-Haro as another obstacle in their way, in order to accomplish their mission, rather than treating him as one of their missions in the first place — to protect the community,” Park told jurors.
Lawyers for the officers countered in closing arguments that it was Flores-Haro’s poor choice to emerge from his home with a gun.
“He wanted to scare the hell out of people. ... His reaction was way out of proportion to the event that occurred,” attorney Steven Kraemer said.
The officers were members of a tactical team from neighboring Washington County. They were called because Portland’s team was training that day. The team members and their lawyers said they didn’t alert Flores-Haro and other neighbors about their mission because they didn’t know if any were associates of the suspect.
The jury awarded $2.5 million to Flores-Haro for battery.
The jurors also awarded $4.5 million in damages for negligence, but that amount is expected to be reduced to $2.6 million because they found Flores-Haro shared some liability, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com