Vicki Lynn Trujillo brought a lawsuit against Denver police officer Timothy Campbell, former police chief Gerry Whitman, and the city and county of Denver three years ago for the alleged unjustifiable death of her husband, Jason Gomez.
According to the Denver Post, police attempted to stop Gomez as he was driving in southwest Denver on December 18, 2007. Gomez reportedly led police on a foot chase after the attempted traffic stop, and officer Campbell says that Gomez was shouting threats during the chase and acted as though he had a gun. As it turned out, Gomez was only in possession of a cigarette lighter. Gomez was shot six times.
The lawsuit claimed that officer Campbell was threatening to kill Gomez, and shot him once in the back and five more times at close range as he tried to flee.
The lawsuit was filed for $10 million, and has been resolved with a $190,000 settlement that was approved by Denver City Council. “The settlement more than doubles the $129,701 the city has paid out to resolve excessive force cases this year.” The Denver Post said.
Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey said the shooting was “justified” and declined to charge Campbell. City Attorney Doug Friednash said in a statement, “The settlement negotiated in this matter is a sound business decision that avoids further costs of litigation and the possibility of an adverse decision at trial.”