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Family Seeks $2 Million in Wrongful Death Suit

The family of Danny Elrod, who was shot and killed by a police officer on February 30, 2015, filed a wrongful death suit against the city of Omaha, NB on Monday, October 10, and asked for $2 million. They asked for $1 million for the wrongful death of Elrod, and another $1 million for pain and suffering – according to the lawsuit, he died an hour after the shooting. The family has offered to accept a $500,000 settlement for the case. Domina Law Group attorney Brian Jorde, who is representing the family in their case, said that:

“We shouldn’t expect that unarmed people are going to be shot and killed, and shot in the back no less, as they’re posing no direct threat to officers.”

According to police accounts of the events leading up to Elrod’s death, he was suspected of robbing a Family Dollar store on South 13th Street in Omaha when officers caught up to him and repeatedly asked Elrod to put up his hands and get on the ground, both of which he refused to do.

Then-Officer Alvin Lugod, who resigned following an internal affairs investigation into the shooting, reportedly warned Elrod that he was going to shoot him before Elrod turned his back to the officer and reached out to grab a fence. Lugod fired three shots at the man, two of which hit Elrod in the back. The Omaha Police Department has not released footage of the incident captured on their cruiser camera.

The lawsuit, filed by Elrod’s mother-in-law Lucinda Beadle, names his wife Amanda and their 6-year-old son as his next of kin. Brian wrote:

“The police officer deliberately fired his weapon but made a negligent decision to do so. He neglected his duty to refrain from using deadly force against an individual who did not display an immediate risk of harm to the officer or others, was unarmed, and did not engage in any actual or threatened use of force against any person justifying deadly intervention… It shouldn’t have happened.”

Brian also spoke to Courthouse News, saying that:

“Police shootings and killings of unarmed citizens have become an epidemic in our nation. Mr. Elrod's family wants to prevent more unnecessary deaths at the hands of those who are sworn to protect us. Danny Elrod suffered a needless death and his wife is now without a husband and his young son is without a father."

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