William Hayes, 28, Died In Ford Collins Police Shooting In Alleyway Along West Laurel Street
FORT COLLINS, COLORADO (January 14, 2024) - A 28-year-old man identified as William Hayes has tragically died in a Fort Collins police shooting after a brief confrontation.
Fort Collins officers are saying that the incident took place around 8:34 p.m. on Thursday. Officers were called to West Laurel Street after getting reports of an assault.
One officer encountered William Hayes in an alleyway. That officer deployed his taser, but it was ineffective. It was at this point that the suspect allegedly kept walking forward towards the officer.
The officer opened fire and struck William Hayes multiple times with his service pistol. Paramedics were called to the scene in order to help the man.
He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Fort Collins Police Shootings
Around 1000 people are killed in police shootings each year in the United States. A large number of these shootings involve suspects with an untreated mental illness. According to the Treatment Advocacy Center, “The risk of being killed while being approached or stopped by law enforcement in the community is 16 times higher for individuals with untreated serious mental illness than for other civilians.” There are many steps that police departments should take in order to prevent police shootings.
- Police departments should make sure officers are trained in de-escalation techniques.
- Police officers should be able to recognize when a suspect may be mentally ill.
- Police officers should have non-lethal options such as tasers and bean bag rounds.
- Police officers should typically wait for backup in high-risk situations.
Depending on the facts of any case, a police department could be liable if one of their officers shoots and kills 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. Whether or not the force that an officer uses is deemed “excessive” will depend on the unique facts of any given encounter.
- Police officers should never shoot a suspect merely because they are attempting to flee.
- Police officers should not hit or shoot a suspect that is already restrained.
- Police officers should follow all protocols for dealing with suspects who may be under the influence of drugs or mentally ill.
Police officers are given a great deal of leeway in how they perform they job. But they must always do everything in their power to avoid needlessly harming suspects. Police shootings are much more likely to occur when officers are poorly trained. It is important that victims of police brutality understand that they do have rights. The family of any person that is killed in a police shooting may be able to seek some measure of justice through a civil claim.
Investigating Fort Collins Police Shootings
We at Scott H. Palmer, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of William Hayes. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened.
Do you need more information about a Ford Collins police shooting? Our team of civil rights advocates are here to get you the information and support that you need. We care deeply that victims of police brutality are aware of their rights and that police departments are held accountable for their illegal actions. Whether you just have legal questions or need any type of support we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at 214-987-4100.