Widow of man killed by un­der­cover cop dur­ing road rage en­counter sues

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - News - BY JOE MARUSAK [email protected]­lot­teob­server.com Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067

The widow of a man fatally shot by an un­der­cover of­fi­cer after a road rage en­counter in east Char­lotte sued the city and the cop on Fri­day.

Jo­sue Javier Diaz, 28, was shot on Albe­marle Road on Jan. 26, 2017. Po­lice said Diaz’s truck sideswiped the of­fi­cer’s un­marked ve­hi­cle, then stopped. Diaz got out of the car, po­lice said, and fired a pis­tol at the of­fi­cer and the of­fi­cer fired back, strik­ing him, The Char­lotte Ob­server re­ported at the time.

In May 2017, thenMeck­len­burg County District At­tor­ney An­drew Mur­ray said he wouldn’t seek charges against the of­fi­cer.

“Diaz was armed with a firearm and ag­gres­sively ap­proach­ing (the of­fi­cer) when the of­fi­cer fired his weapon,” Mur­ray wrote in his find­ing, the Ob­server re­ported. “Con­se­quently, (the of­fi­cer) was com­pletely jus­ti­fied in us­ing deadly force to stop the at­tack and pre­vent his own death.”

Diaz was shot six times to the chest, ab­domen and hand, all on the left side of his body, an au­topsy report showed. Tox­i­col­ogy tests found co­caine in Diaz’s blood, the Ob­server re­ported last year.

In her law­suit filed in Meck­len­burg County Su­pe­rior Court, Christina Diaz said her hus­band “stepped out of his ve­hi­cle and be­gan to speak to (the of­fi­cer), stat­ing he was ‘gonna tell’ (him) some­thing.” Her hus­band “did not get an op­por­tu­nity to fin­ish try­ing to speak to “the of­fi­cer),” she said in the suit.

Christina Diaz’s law­suit quotes the of­fi­cer as say­ing that as Diaz be­gan speak­ing, Diaz “dis­played a small gun, at which point (the of­fi­cer im­me­di­ately shot” him. The law­suit said the of­fi­cer “fired six rounds” at Diaz. The rounds struck her hus­band “in the left up­per chest, left chest, left up­per ab­domen, left lower ab­domen, left hand and left knee,“Christina Diaz said in the law­suit.

Ac­cord­ing to the law­suit, the of­fi­cer was “neg­li­gent or grossly neg­li­gent” in that he “ag­gres­sively and reck­lessly pur­sued and rear-ended” Diaz’s ve­hi­cle in vi­o­la­tion of “nu­mer­ous” Char­lot­teMeck­len­burg Po­lice De­part­ment “guide­lines, reg­u­la­tions and rules and N.C. ve­hi­cle laws.”

A lawyer for the po­lice de­part­ment could not im­me­di­ately be reached on Fri­day night.

Christina Diaz’s law­suit said the of­fi­cer, for in­stance, vi­o­lated a writ­ten CMPD di­rec­tive that po­lice must op­er­ate “both blue lights and siren when en­gaged in emer­gency driv­ing.”

The law­suit said the of­fi­cer also vi­o­lated a CMPD di­rec­tive that “if fea­si­ble, an of­fi­cer will iden­tify him or her­self as a po­lice of­fi­cer and is­sue a ver­bal warn­ing be­fore us­ing deadly force.”

The law­suit said the city “failed to prop­erly train” the of­fi­cer. Filed by Char­lotte lawyer J. Alexan­der Heroy, the law­suit seeks at least $100,000.

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