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Miami Beach Police Force Allegedly Plans to Revise Deadly Force Policy and Decrease Potential Liability for Excessive Use of Force Wrongful Death Lawsuits

The Miami Beach Police Department has released information that it plans to revise its use of deadly force policy. It is expected that Chief of Police Dan Oates will make the official announcement sometime in the immediate future. The Miami Beach Police Department is currently named in at least one wrongful death lawsuit originating from a potential excessive use of deadly force shooting incident.

The Miami Beach Police Department is also currently under investigation by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office for the potentially excessive use of force in the shooting death of Mr. Raymond Herisse in 2011. Along with the Hialeah Police Department, which also had officers involved in the deadly shooting, Miami Beach PD is named in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the victim’s family members.

Effects of the Change in Policy

Once the change in policy takes effect, Miami Beach police officers will no longer have a mandate to treat a moving car as a deadly weapon. This effectively means that Miami Beach police officers will be restricted from shooting at someone inside of a moving vehicle, unless someone inside the vehicle brandishes a weapon or is the first to open fire.

The expected changes in the deadly force policy seem to represent some level of departmental response to the issues raised from the high-profile Memorial Day weekend shooting of Raymond Herisse as he drove his vehicle. Mr. Herisse was killed by a combination of both Miami Beach and Hialeah police officers who fired 116 rounds into his car.

Although the incident took place over 3 years ago, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office has yet to release its findings on whether or not the officers involved in the incident used an appropriate amount of deadly force. Certainly the family of Mr. Herisse, as well as the other four bystanders who were injured in the incident, would suggest that an improper amount of force was used. Additionally disturbing is the information from media reports that none of the injured bystanders have been compensated for their injuries as of yet.

Recognizing the two-year statute of limitations for filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida, Mr. Herisse’s family filed a wrongful death suit naming both the Miami Beach and Hialeah police departments as liable parties in their relative’s wrongful death almost two years to the date of his death. The suit names a total of 12 officers from both police departments and requests unspecified damages from the departments as well as city officials.

Wrongful Death Suits in Florida

Florida wrongful death statutes are distinct and highly nuanced. The first step in the wrongful death lawsuit process is that the court should appoint a personal representative to pursue the wrongful death action on behalf of the survivors.

Requirements regarding which family members are deemed eligible to seek compensation in a wrongful death case are applied in each case. These prerequisites are dependent upon on the victim’s marital status, their age at the time of the wrongful death, and the legal, physical residence of any surviving children. Due to these prerequisites, immediate family members may or may not be legally entitled to pursue a wrongful death claim in Florida.

If you are dealing with a wrongful death tragedy in your family, please contact the Fort Lauderdale law offices of Boone & Davis by calling (954) 566-9919. After an initial consultation, we can begin working on your case to help you secure the compensation you deserve.

Boone & Davis, Attorneys at Law is located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and serves clients in and around Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, Dania, Pompano Beach, Deerfield Beach and Broward County.

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