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Mother sues over teen's death in scuffle with San Francisco police

What penalty awaited a San Francisco teen who did not pay his Muni fare? In the case of one 19-year-old, it was death.

Authorities say the 19-year-old, who was on parole , fled from police after being confronted by officers. They claim that he shot himself in the neck as he was trying to draw a handgun to shoot at the officers. The man was also shot in the leg when two officers fired at him.

Now, the teen's mother has sued the police department, alleging that the officers on scene did not act quickly enough to get the man medical attention. The mother's attorney said the man "literally...drowned in his own blood" and "was killed needlessly." The essence of her claim is that if the officers had been responsible and had sought help immediately, as they should have, her son would be alive today.

If what the mother is alleging is true, then this is an egregious example of how badly people who are accused of crimes can be treated. Although we have all heard over and over again that everyone in this country is presumed innocent until he or she is proven guilty, it seems many of us have trouble taking this to heart. Oftentimes, it takes the advocacy of an attorney to make sure that a criminal suspect's rights are not trampled upon.

Our office works exclusively with people who have been accused of crimes. We have to work with the facts as they stand, naturally, but we are also able to see how the law applies to your unique situation and can make sure that your best interests are represented. Choosing an attorney should be something about which you think carefully. If you would like to learn more about our practice as part of your selection process, please consider visiting the Criminal Defense portion of our website.

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle, "Mother sues SF police over son's death," Henry K. Lee, July 30, 2012

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