Joan Rodriguez-Godinez, 21, Who Was Being Robbed At Bus Stop Killed By Aurora Police Officers
AURORA, COLORADO (October 13, 2023) - A man identified as Joan Rodriguez-Godinez has tragically died in an Aurora police shooting by East Colfax Avenue and Havana Street.
Arapahoe County officials are saying that the incident took place on Friday. A man identified as Joan Rodriguez-Godinez was being robbed at a bus stop.
The assailant was reportedly trying to take his backpack. Authorities said that the victim may have defended himself by producing a firearm at some point.
Police were called to the scene and within moments of arriving they opened fire and shot Joan Rodriguez-Godinez. Firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene in order to help the victim.
He was taken to the hospital where he later died due to his injuries. The other man involved in the dispute was arrested and taken into custody for misdemeanor theft.
A full investigation into the incident remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Aurora Police Shootings
Colorado has one of the highest instances of per-capita police shootings in the entire country. According to Everytown, “research makes it clear that Colorado in particular is severely impacted by fatal police shootings. Every year, police in America shoot and kill more than 1,000 people, and Colorado is among the five states with the highest rates of fatal police shootings in the country.” The people involved in fatal police shootings are disproportionately suffering from untreated mental illness. There are many steps that police departments should take in order to prevent fatal police shootings.
- Police officers should do their best to understand the situation they are entering into.
- Police officers should quickly assess the situation after they arrived.
- Police officers should be well trained to de-escalate encounters.
- Police officers should be required to wear body cameras when they interact with the public.
State and federal law prohibits Colorado police officers from using excessive force on suspects. Officers should only use lethal force as a measure of last resort. Victims of excessive force will typically have recourse through 42 U.S. Code § 1983. According to the statute, 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 many ways that a police officer may have acted improperly prior to a fatal police shooting.
- A police officer may have failed to de-escalate an encounter.
- A police officer may have shot a suspect that did not pose a danger to officers or the public.
- A police officer may have mistakenly shot the victim of a crime.
A large number of police shootings are preventable and involve poor decisions by responding officers. Sadly, police departments will often do everything that they can do to avoid responsibility for any police shooting. They may fail to be transparent or they may even try to blame the victim. It is important that victims of excessive force and their families understand that they do have rights. The family of any person that died in a police shooting may be able to seek some measure of justice through a constitutional claim.
Investigating Aurora Police Shootings
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Joan Rodriguez-Godinez. This man was the victim of an active crime when he was violently gunned down by Aurora police officials. There are so many questions that still need to be answered. It is our sincere hope that there is accountability and steps are taken to prevent other tragedies like this.
Do you need more information about an Aurora police shooting? Our team of civil rights advocates are here to help in any way that we can. We are committed to informing victims of police brutality of their rights and holding police departments accountable. 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.