Matthew McNicholas Authored Article on the Ferguson Shooting in National Law Journal
In the National Law Journal article, “An All Too Familiar Scenario in the Death of Michael Brown,” author Matthew McNicholas explores the details of the Michael Brown case and its similarities to the wrongful-death shooting of Culver City robbery suspect LeJoy Grissom. In 2013, Mr. McNicholas obtained an $8.8 million verdict on behalf of Mr. Grissom’s family.
Generally, in a case where an officer uses deadly force and kills someone, a civil rights lawsuit under the Fourth Amendment follows. The jury must determine if the officer passes the “objectively reasonable” test, which establishes what the shooting officer knew and observed for him to believe he or the public is in imminent danger, as well as the physical evidence. Mr. McNicholas explains that the jury must consider the officer’s explanation of why he fired his weapon at the moment he pulled the trigger.
“It comes down to the jury, and the critical question for jurors to decide is: At the time the officer fired his weapon, did he believe he or the public was in immediate fear of death or serious injury?” says Mr. McNicholas.