By: Allan M. Siegel
On September 11, 2016, Terrence Sterling had recently left a bachelor’s
party and was operating a motorcycle in the District of Columbia, and
crashed his vehicle into a Metropolitan Police Department vehicle. Either
immediately before or after the crash – the timing is unclear –
a police officer, Officer Brian Trainer, shot and killed Mr. Sterling,
who was unarmed at the time.
Police claim that Mr. Sterling was sighted operating his motorcycle erratically
before the crash, and that he intentionally caused the crash and was shot
to protect officer safety. However, some witnesses dispute the police
account, assert that the crash appeared to be an accident, and that the
officer unnecessarily shot Mr. Sterling after the crash. Peaceful protests
against police violence have followed the incident.
Just recently, the MPD released the available bodycam footage from Officer
Brian Trainer. Unfortunately, Officer Trainer did not turn on his bodycam until
after the incident. This has led the MPD to issue a new policy, requiring police
officers to confirm with dispatchers that they have turned on their bodycams
when they respond to a call or interact with citizens.
Police officers protect the public safety, but they should also be held
accountable when they use unnecessary force that injures or kills citizens.
If you or anyone that you know has been wrongfully hurt by police force,
contact the personal injury attorneys at Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel,
P.C., for a free consultation.