Why it's so hard for victims of police abuse to sue and win

Latasha had no idea the cops would just start shooting. There were no warrants out for their arrest. No one in the car was armed. They were just three black friends driving home from a club through a rough part of Miami. They’d each had small run-ins with the law, but the officers knew nothing about the car’s occupants when they pulled them over.

The cops tailed them into a dead end, pulled their guns, and seconds later the two Miami-Dade officers started shooting. Though the officers would later testify that they thought the car was backing up toward them, none of the 27 shots were fired into the back of the vehicle.

Latasha’s boyfriend, Michael Knight, was celebrating his 21st birthday that night — he was shot three times and died just after being transported to a local hospital, where his mother was a nurse. Their friend Frisco Blackwood, also 21, was shot eight times and died while still sitting in the driver’s seat. Latasha was left to crawl out of the vehicle, with a bullet lodged in her thigh, wondering why the cops had opened fire.


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