Cleveland Attorneys Successfully Pursued the Truth in a Police Misconduct Case

In three shots, a life changes forever. Charles Penson arrived at an acquaintance’s home, believing he was meeting his friend. Instead, he found the Hancock County Special Response Team (“SRT”). The law enforcement were planning to apprehend Mr. Penson. Startled by the invasion, the plaintiff ran from the police. This is when things took a turn for the worst.

According to reports, one of the Deputies failed to follow plans and shot at the plaintiff. Unarmed at the time, Mr. Penson claimed he was shot at three times. One of the bullets struck him in the back and lodged into his cervical spine. He was left permanently paralyzed.

In their statements, the deputies claimed Mr. Penson was reaching for his waistband when he was running away, supposedly for a weapon. They assumed it was a weapon and shot. However, upon further examination, the stories the officers shared were inconsistent. The evidence was also inconclusive, given the investigators and sheriffs allegedly failed to follow protocol. Reports suggest that the investigators did not analyze the evidence or Mr. Penson’s wounds, as they were supposed to. Furthermore, the sheriff’s officials did not interview the victim to ask him what transpired between him and the officers. In what looks to be a slipshod investigation, the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department cleared the deputy who shot of wrongdoing.

Our civil rights lawyers at Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP believe in upholding the truth and justice. Attorneys DiCello and Gilbert tenaciously pursued the facts in this case. They carefully examined the evidence, enlisting the opinions of expert forensic analysts. The team found inconsistencies with the SRT’s statements. The plaintiff attorneys found that Mr. Penson was shot in the back when he was running away, not in the neck as earlier reports suggested.

Presented with the evidence and the inconsistencies, the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department agreed to settle the case for $2.65 million.

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