[author: Sylvia Hsieh]
The parents of a teen who was shot and killed by Washington County, Ore. deputy sheriffs won a $2.5 million federal jury verdict.
18-year-old Lukus Glenn was shot in front of his home as his parents looked on. In a tragic irony, it was Glenn’s mother, Hope, who had called 911 for help, saying that her son was drunk and holding a pocket knife and threatening to kill himself.
Officers arrived at the house and found the teen outside the home. They ordered him to drop the knife which he was holding to his own neck. When he didn’t comply, one deputy shot him with beanbag rounds. Two other officers, Mikhail Gerba and Timothy Mateski, then opened fire after deciding that he was moving toward the house and was a danger to his parents and grandmother, who were inside. Glenn’s parents, Hope and Brad, saw the whole thing from the entrance to the house, and two of Lukus’ friends watched from outside.
“They could see with their own eyes that this was wrong,” said Michael Cox, an attorney for the family.
Attorney Lawrence Peterson
Another lawyer for the family, Larry Peterson, argued at trial that the shooting was unreasonable and that the deputies made several mistakes that led them to disguise the event with a “false narrative.”
A lawyer for the county and its deputies contended that while the shooting was tragic, it was necessary to prevent Lukus from hurting himself, his family, friends and the officers.
The jury ordered the county to pay the family $2.5 million for violating Lukus Glenn’s Fourth Amendment rights, and also blamed Sheriff Rob Gordon, who investigated and approved of the shooting.
After the verdict, Hope Glenn said they “felt like we finally got justice for Lukus” and that she hopes it will help other families who call the police in moments of need.
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