Wrongful Death – a death caused by someone’s negligent or willful act or omission

wrongful death:

1. A death caused by a tortious injury; a death caused by someone’s negligent or willful act or omission. [1]

1. An action provided by constitution or statute to recover from one whose wrongful at, neglect or default has resulted in the death of another person.  22 Am J2d Dth § 2. [1]

1. A death that results from a wrongful act. [3]

     In order to verify whether or not a person was wrongfully killed by an officer, find their protocol.  Law enforcement protocol is, for the most part, uniform from agency to agency due to the fact that most law enforcement agencies are subcontracted by the federal government.  Therefore, you can often find the protocol that a law enforcement officer is supposed to follow within the state code or the Code of Federal Regulations (“CFR”)

Locate the Officer’s Protocol:

     Let’s say, for instance, someone was killed by a BIA officer (Bureau of Indian Affairs): to find there protocol, we will need to look in Title 25 of the CFR because Title 25 lists all regulations pertaining to Indian Country.  Chapter 1 of Title 25 shows all regulations governing Bureau of Indian Affairs agencies and officers, and SUBCHAPTER B regulates everything pertaining to LAW AND ORDERSubpart B within SUBCHAPTER B shows only four regulations pertaining to POLICIES AND STANDARDS., as follows:

Transcript of Title 25 Chapter I Subchapter B Part 12 → Subpart B:

§12.11   Do I have to follow these regulations?

     You must follow the minimum standards outlined in the regulations in this part if you are part of a BIA or tribal law enforcement program receiving Federal funding or operating under a BIA law enforcement commission.

§12.12   What about self-determination?

     The regulations in this part are not intended to discourage contracting of Indian country law enforcement programs under the Indian Self-determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450).  The Deputy Commissioner of Indian Affairs will ensure minimum standards are maintained in high risk activities where the Federal government retains liability and the responsibility for settling tort claims arising from contracted law enforcement programs.  It is not fair to law abiding citizens of Indian country to have anything less than a professional law enforcement program in their community.  Indian country law enforcement programs that receive Federal funding and/or commissioning will be subject to a periodic inspection or evaluation to provide technical assistance, to ensure compliance with minimum Federal standards, and to identify necessary changes or improvements to BIA policies.

§12.13   What happens if I do not follow the rules in this part?

     Your BIA law enforcement commission may be revoked, your law enforcement contract may be canceled, and you may no longer be eligible for tribal shares allocated from the law enforcement budget.

§12.14   Where can I find specific policies and standards for law enforcement functions in Indian country?

     BIA will ensure that all Indian country law enforcement programs are provided a copy of the most current policy manuals and handbooks.  Every Indian country law enforcement program covered by the regulations in this part must maintain an effective and efficient law enforcement program meeting minimal qualitative standards and procedures specified in chapter 68 Bureau of Indian Affairs Manual (BIAM) and the Law Enforcement Handbook.


     Section 2.2 “Policy on the Use of Firearms” form the Law and Order Handbook:

     “A firearm may be discharged only when in the considered judgment of the officer there is imminent danger of loss of life or serious bodily injury to the officer or to another person.  The weapon may be fired only for the purpose of rendering the person at whom it is fired incapable of continuing the activity prompting the officer to shoot.  The firing of warning shots is prohibited….


Excerpt from  Desmond Rowland and James Bailey’s The Law Enforcement Handbook:

Re: “Responding to a Gun Call“:

B Handling the Suspect

1. If you encounter a distraught but apparently unarmed subject, remove your hat at the first opportunity.  This action suggests to the subject that you are not about to take immediate action and will help to calm down disturbed and frightened persons.

2. Do not allow the subject to leave your view under any circumstances. He may say he is going to get his coat or a package of cigarettes, but can just as easily return with a weapon.

3. If the subject has a dog, tell him to remove it. The dog may attack if you have to move against the owner.

4. Ask the subject to join you outside.

a. This will eliminate his access to any hidden weapons. b. He will also be at a greater psychological disadvantage in a less familiar environment.

5. If the suspect refuses to come out. ask him to invite you inside.

6. Once inside, ask if you can take a seat to reinforce once again your non-threatening attitude.

NOTE: Do not make any gestures which he might interpret as provocative, i.e., placing your hand on your holster, fingering you. baton, etc.  He may interpret these actions as meaning that you are secretly planning to attack him when his guard is down.

7. As you talk, a second officer should try to remove any members of the subject’s family or other persons who may be present:

a. For their own safety

b. To prevent them from goading him into violence

c. To make it easier for the subject to back down

8. The second officer should question the family members as to the subject’s psychiatric history to learn:

a. If he has undergone psychiatric treatment and, if so, for what problem

b. If he has ever been hospitalized for mental or emotional disorders

c. If he has a problem with drugs or alcohol

d. If there are any guns in the house, and, if so, where they are located

e. If the subject has a history of violent behavior

f. If he has any military, police or other special training in e handling of weapons

g. If there are any special people in his life such as a friend, parent, priest, or co-worker to whom he might listen.

9. The second officer can also reassure the family members by advising them how the police can help by calling an ambulance, physician or social service agency.

10. The second officer’s presence nearby also reminds the subject that there is a world outside which can respond if he takes action against you.


Did the Officer Follow Protocol?

    If the officer did not follow protocol, the decedents may file a claim against the agency; if the officer operated criminally, then criminal charges may be filed against them.


File against a Federal
Officer, Employee, or Government Agency.


File against a State or Local
Officer, Employee, or Government Agency.


page in making
additional information to be added soon.


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Disclaimer: Wild Willpower does not condone the actions of Maximilian Robespierre, however the above quote is excellent!

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