Zachary Yates, 32, Injured In Denver Police Shooting In Parking Lot of Apartment Complex Along South Oneida Street
DENVER, COLORADO (December 9, 2023) - A 32-year-old man identified as Zachary Yates was injured in a Denver police shooting at an apartment complex on South Oneida Street.
Denver County officials are saying that the incident took place in late November. Police officers were called to the scene and found Zachary Yates by his Chevy Silverado truck which was right next to a dumpster.
They said that he had a gun in the back of his waistband and instructed him to keep his hands up. The suspect identified himself as a disabled veteran and suicidal. Just a few minutes after police encountered the man, officers opened fire and shot Zachary Yates.
He was transported to the hospital with an injury to his neck. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Denver Police Shootings
Far too many people are killed or seriously injured each year following police encounters. According to the Law Enforcement Epidemiology Project, “Of the estimated 250,000 civilians injured each year by law enforcement, approximately 85,000 suffer a non-fatal injury requiring hospital treatment.” People suffering from a mental health crisis are nearly 16 times more likely to be killed in a police shooting. There are a number of steps that police officers should take when dealing with a suspect who may be in the midst of a mental health crisis.
- Police officers should use calm and non-threatening verbal communication.
- Police officers should maintain a safe distance and avoid sudden movements which could escalate the situation.
- Police officers should use de-escalation techniques to diffuse the situation.
- Police officers should gather as much information as they can about the suspect’s mental health history.
Depending on the facts of any case, a police department could face civil liability if an officer uses excessive force and injures a suspect. Pursuant to 42 U.S. Code § 1983, every person who, under the color of any statute, ordinance or law, causes a citizen of the United States to be deprived of any rights secured by the Constitution, shall be liable to the injured party in an action at law. There are a number of ways that a police officer may have acted improperly prior to any police shooting.
- Police officers may have failed to use de-escalation techniques.
- Police officers may have shot a suspect attempting to flee.
- Police officers may have shot a suspect who did not pose an immediate danger to them or the public.
Many police shootings are preventable. They often involve officers who make less than ideal decisions in tense situations. Sadly, police departments will often do everything that they can to deny liability if one of their officers injures or kills a suspect. This is why it is so important that evidence is properly preserved after any police shooting. Any person that is injured in a Denver police shooting may have legal recourse through a a civil claim.
Investigating Denver Police Shootings
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our best wishes to Zachary Yates and his family as he continues to recover. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened. Any person that may have more information should reach out to investigators. There are a number of questions that still remain unanswered.
Have you or someone that you care about been harmed by the excessive force of Denver police officers. Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to assist you. We care deeply that all people are aware of their rights and that police departments are held accountable for their excessive force. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any incident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 214-987-4100.