An Oregon man has been awarded $7 million by a federal jury which found that officers were negligent in shooting him during a confrontation at his front door.
On March 13, 2012, Adalberto Flores-Haro was at the North Portland home he shared with his wife and five children when he saw unknown figures lurking in his yard. He yelled and cursed at the men, who didn't identify themselves and told him to "get back in your house."
So Flores-Haro got his .44-caliber Llama revolver and went back outside to confront the intruders, only to be hit with a hail of gunfire from officers who were preparing to serve a warrant at a house down the block. According to the suit, none of the officers involved identified themselves or asked for permission to enter Flores-Haro's property.
Flores-Haro took two steps outside his door and the officers fired 14 times, hitting him in the elbow and stomach. The officers then ordered his wife and children to leave their home at gunpoint, stepping past their bleeding dad who lay in the doorway, "trying to keep his insides from spilling out of his stomach."
The cops then claimed that Flores-Haro had shot at them, and were given eight days to collect themselves before being interviewed by police detectives. Meanwhile, Flores-Haro's wife was separated from her crying children and questioned for at least an hour.
According to the local daily newspaper, in his closing argument Flores Haro's attorney told the jury that the officers "treated Mr. Flores-Haro as another obstacle in their way, in order to accomplish their mission, rather than treating him as one of their missions in the first place—to protect the community."
The jury agreed, awarding $2.5 million for battery and $4.5 million in damages for negligence. Because the jury found him partly responsible, that's likely to be reduced to $5.1 million.
"It is somewhat of a relief that it is actually over,'' Flores-Haro, told the local daily outside the courtroom.