Edwards Kirby, LLP has filed a civil wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Raleigh and other defendants over the wrongful death of 30-year-old Soheil Mojarrad, who was shot and killed by a Raleigh Police Officer in April 2019.
Filed Tuesday, June 9, 2020, the lawsuit claims the Raleigh Police Department’s inadequate training, failures to discipline officers, and other dangerous practices promoted a rampant lack of accountability in use-of-force-situations, and ultimately contributed to the preventable death of Soheil.
The suit names Raleigh Police Officer William Brett Edwards (the officer who shot Soheil), the Raleigh Chief of Police, the Raleigh City Manager, and the City of Raleigh as Defendants.
About The Case
As noted in the lawsuit, Raleigh Police Officer W.B. Edwards had been responding to a call involving a stolen cell phone on the evening of April 20, 2019 when he spotted Soheil sitting on a bench at a shopping center, and approached him. Fearing an interaction, Soheil attempted to separate himself.
Officer Edwards, who the complaint states was at least 20 feet away from Soheil at the time, claimed Soheil pulled a knife from his pocket. He subsequently pulled his weapon and fired 11 rounds.
Though Mojarrad was not suspected of any violent or serious crime, he was shot 8 times by Officer Edwards, and died at the scene.
The case garnered considerable attention over the use of deadly force and Officer Edwards’ failure to activate his body cam during the encounter. In September, Wake County Prosecutors declined to pursue criminal charges against the Officer.
Justice For The Family. Accountability For The Community.
At a time when frustrations over police brutality and excessive force have resulted in weeks of nationwide protects, the case will be critical not only to securing justice for Soheil’s family, but also to ensuring accountability on the part of the government and its agents, and igniting further momentum for needed changes.
As Partner Cate Edwards states:
“Officer Edwards could have taken any number of actions to keep both himself and Soheil safe. Instead, he went straight to his gun. It’s evident he was not properly trained on the appropriate use of force and deadly force; if he had been, Soheil would be alive today.
We have to put an end to these completely unjustified and preventable officer-involved shootings. Soheil’s family is determined to hold those that could have prevented his death accountable, so this doesn’t happen to other families.”
Edwards Kirby, LLP intends to fight aggressively for Soheil’s family, who have turned to the civil justice system as a means to obtain accountability and justice for their loved one’s death. As civil rights lawsuits, claims over police brutality, officer-involved shootings, and other forms of police misconduct are separate matters from any criminal proceedings.