Judge Gives Go Ahead For Family Of Murdered Marine To File Lawsuit

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A federal judge gives the go ahead to a lawsuit filed by the family of an unarmed Marine shot 12 times by a Baltimore City police officer outside of a nightclub.  If the lawsuit succeeds, the city could pay out millions for the actions of a police officer already convicted in criminal court.

Derek Valcourt has more on the lawsuit and the city’s effort to stop it.

The city wanted the case thrown out but a judge ruled against them Wednesday.

Officer Gahiji Tshamba was already convicted on manslaughter charges for the 2010 killing of Tyrone Brown, 24.  Tshamba was leaving a Mount Vernon nightclub with friends when he shot the unarmed Marine 12 times with his police-issued weapon in a dispute over a woman.  While Tshamba awaits sentencing,  a lawsuit filed by the victim’s family moves full speed ahead in a federal court.  This ruling from a federal judge allows the police department, the police commissioner and even the mayor to be sued under a federal law for failing to stop an officer who, the plaintiff’s attorneys say, had a history of misconduct.

“There were several things that should have raised the red flag to the Baltimore City police department,” said lawyer, Dwight Pettit.

At issues, says Pettit, is a 1998 incident in which Tshamba shot a man in the back who he believed had opened fire; Tshamba’s 2001 arrest of a woman who was later strip-searched because she didn’t sign a traffic ticket correctly; and a 2005 incident in which Tshamba was found to be intoxicated when he shot a man in the foot.

Legal expert Byron Warnken says federal court could allow for higher financial damages as the victim’s family tries to prove the city is liable for Tshamba’s actions.

“The reason our loved one is dead is in part the blame of police supervisors, the police commissioner, people up through and including the mayor, whose job it was to stay on the alert to make sure that people like this aren’t out there, just one trigger pull away from me and you dying,” Warnken said.

Tshamba is scheduled for sentencing in his criminal case in August.  He faces up to 30 years in prison.

Legal experts say the civil lawsuit against Tshamba and the city could take two to three years to wind its way through the federal court system.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Tonia Jo says:

    Baltimore city police fire 41 rounds killed there own months before. 12 rounds and killed a United States Marine. then the mayors blame that the police are to busy to up hold the law, not trained properly, come on 41 rounds 12 rounds fired this is beyond sad. Maybe the Baltimore City Police Smoked To Much POT.THIS IS UNACEPTABLE

  2. GLK says:

    Bbaltimore City Police keep making the same mistakes. these are mistakes that happen way to often and can not be tolerated. If someone is unarmed and doesn’t fire back of course and the police continue to fire , sue the hell out of Baltimore City for stupidty.

  3. andy botwin says:

    MOST BALTIMORE CITY COPS ARE CORRUPT, TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT tHe peurto rican officers they hired a few yrs ago by going to the island of peurto rico to do their recruting. Most cadidates were in trouble with serious criminal
    cases pending against them but the Baltimore police Department brought them to Baltimore anyway!! So, it was long when they were cought up in that towing scandal with majestic towing and body shop! Plus alligations of drug dealing by the same peurto rican officers

    1. protect and serve says:

      Most City Police Officers are NOT corrupt. Most City Police Officers are honest, hard working individuals. Your stereotyping MOST police officers simply shows how blatantly ignorant you are. And so does your spelling.

      1. ANTHONY, FRANKY, FAT FREDDIE says:

        PROTECT AND SERVE , PROTECT THE DRUG DEALERS AND SERVE , IS SOMTHING THEY HAVEN’T GOT A CLUE,

  4. Sylvan Finkelstein says:

    TO THE FAMILY OF THE MARINE WHO LOST HIS LIFE OVER NOTHING, I HOPE THAT YOU GET ALL THE MONIES YOU ARE GOING AFTER IN THIS LAWSUIT CERTAINLY IT WILL NEVER BRING BACK YOUR SON TO YOU,BUT IT’S WELL
    DESERVED TO COLLECT FROM THIS CORRUPT CITY WE ALL LIVE IN.GOOD LUCK WITH THIS LAWSUIT

  5. whatnow says:

    Does anybody realize that the money they will get from the city actually came out of your paycheck?????

    1. Leonard says:

      whatnow great point! and guess where they will make up the difference? Jobs and taxes.

  6. Leonard says:

    I believe the family is due compensation for this act which has cost their family. The thing that bothers me is that when they are compenasted the City will put the squeeze on the working person. It’s not like they will take it out of the cost of living increases of the people in charge or withold their bonuses. They’ll cut job’s spending on thing the taxpayers need and deserve, and find ways to increase revenue through raised taxes somewhere.

    1. listening says:

      Then we need to be more careful about who we put in office…WE need to take responsibility for allowing the system that gave this criminal a badge and a gun. If WE think they are corrupt, then only WE can get them out.

      EGYPT.

  7. j says:

    normally I think people who file lawsuits are just greedy, but I believe in this case it’s justified. Unfortunately I realize the taxpayers would end up paying it. Should come out of the police commissioner and mayor’s pockets

  8. Happy1 says:

    J you mean Hamms and O’Malley’s pocket? They were the PC and Mayor in 2005 when Tshamba should have been fired. And Pettit would have defended Tshamba if he was fired then.

    1. j says:

      Don’t really care-past or present both share the blame. My point is the taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay

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