Here’s one to watch. Harris County, Texas Deputy Brady Pullen has filed suit against a woman named Camina Figueroa on that basis that Figueroa failed to adequately warn of the danger he faced in responding to a 911 call at her home. According to Rawstory, the facts are:
According to the Houston Chronicle, Harris County Deputy Brady Pullen is demanding that Camina Figueroa pay him $200,000 because she did not “adequately warn” dispatchers that Kemal Yazar “posed a violent threat to others” when she called 911 to say that he was acting crazy after several days of using bath salts.
The lawsuit notes that “defendant [Figueroa] decided to evacuate the children for safety reasons” before calling police.
Pullen claimed that he was violently attacked by Yazar as soon as he went through the door. The deputy said he was bitten and his nose was broken. Officers used their Tasers on Yazar, and then fired multiple shots with their service weapons, killing him.
Just to add a little more spice to the story, Figueroa’s sister Corina Padilla, who witnessed the events, is claiming that ” her brother-in-law never touched the officers and was backing away with his hands up when they shot him.”
Pullen’s boss, Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia would only say that the civil action by his deputy was “unprecedented.” Indeed.
While Pullen is claiming that Figueroa failed in her duty as a homeowner to warn of a dangerous condition on the property, it would seem as if any 911-call about a domestic disturbance would make first responder risks open and obvious. But perhaps more importantly, doesn’t common sense tell us that if negligently describing your 911 emergency is actionable there will be a chilling effect on those in danger placing a call? Also, given the rampant militarization of police forces across the country, shouldn’t the police be prepared for just about anything — including the potential for a broken nose?
Finally, there is the elephant in the room: Seeing as the police gunned down the apparently unarmed Yazar for allegedly breaking the deputy’s nose, is this suit nothing more than a pre-emptive strike against Yazar’s family for what happened that day?