Independence, Mo.: Lawsuit Accuses Police of Negligence

The City of Independence, its police department, and a major ambulance provider in the metro face a lawsuit. They’re accused of allowing a teenager, hit by a suspect fleeing police, to bleed to death.

Maybe most disturbing is the comment an officer made on tape.  “They’re like roaches, man,” said the unidentified Independence police officer. “They don’t die.”

That comment is at the heart of a new lawsuit filed Monday.

Last November, during a police chase, Wilfredo Pujols ran over Christopher Cooper, 17, who was crossing Noland Road on a bicycle. Pujuols pled guilty for his role in criminal court. But Cooper’s family believes “a cowboy atmosphere” within the police department makes them just as liable.

It also claims police and paramedics assumed Cooper was dead at the scene and delayed giving him care.  “He bled to death because he was not assessed and they did not get the bleeding under control,” Pickett said.

The father of Christopher Cooper is a regular blogger on Democratic Underground.   He is attempting to bring his son’s story to the national media’s attention.  Mr. Cooper is asking everyone to spread the story of his son’s tragic death.  Hopefully, this post will help in some small way.  My sincerest condolences go out to him and his family.

Here is the link to the local news station report.

4 thoughts on “Independence, Mo.: Lawsuit Accuses Police of Negligence

  1. Thanks for the story, FR. I hope the Cooper family prevails in their attempts to hold their government accountable for its (in)actions. I also hope that some dent can be made in the theory of “sovereign immunity”, which is how cities and municipalities get away with their abuses of power.

    It was wrong for them to assume the young man was already dead without checking first. That was highly irresponsible. Like most police forces across the country, I assume that Missouri’s cops have an obligation “to protect and serve”. Letting someone die without treating his injuries (or even checking his condition) is neither protecting nor serving.

  2. As I read this the victim was ‘collateral damage’. Not the suspect being pursued. I wonder what the city will feel when the Cooper family owns them?

    Not that it will replace their loss.

  3. This broke my heart Wayne. I just couldn’t believe they let this poor boy bleed to death.

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