Judge Clears Officer Whose Shot Paralyzed a Man
The Dallas Morning news reported a story about an officer who will not be prosecuted for a shot that left a man paralyzed. A judge dismissed a felony aggravated assault indictment against Officer Johnathan Yates, but a $700,000 settlement was reached with Elijah Robinson, 22, the man wounded in the 2009 shooting. Often, police officers are fired when they are indicted, but Yates was transferred to another city department, where he is working in a non-police capacity. Lieutenant Bill Hedgpeth, a police spokesman, said: “Based upon the totality of the circumstances, the city felt the right and proper thing to do was to allow him to remain employed with the city while the case took its course through the system.” Hedgpeth added that preventing Yates from providing for his family while the case remained active would have been wrong. Court records say that the incident took place when police were looking for a silver Chrysler 300 with an armed driver, a known drug user. Mesquite Police Officer Cory Doyle spotted a silver Chrysler 300 matching the description, and a check indicated it had been stolen. Officer Doyle followed the car until it stopped and addressed the driver through his speaker system. The driver followed Doyle's directions, until he got out of the car after Doyle told him to unlatch his door. Yates told the court he saw the man holding something and pointing it towards officer Doyle, so he took a single shot to protect Doyle. Robinson had keys, a cellphone, a lighter, and a Hong Kong silver dollar on him, but no gun. The bullet severed Robinson's spine and left him in a wheelchair, so he filed a federal civil rights lawsuit saying Yates used excessive force. There are many others ways to be injured or end up paralyzed in addition to a shooting, and our personal injury lawyers in New Braunfels can provide you with legal advice on what to do next. If you find yourself or a loved one injured or paralyzed not by your own actions, you may be eligible for compensation. Make sure you have the help you need, and get an experienced lawyer to help you. Contact a New Braunfels personal injury attorney today.