Attorney Rickey Ivie
In a civil case, the jury exonerates the deputies in 2009 deputy-involved shooting case
Last Tuesday, a civil jury returned a verdict of “No Liability” for the defense (Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department) after deliberating for less than an hour regarding a 2009 deputy-involved shooting case. Rickey Ivie of Ivie, McNeill & Wyatt represented the deputies (Los Angeles County) while Brian Dunn of the Cochran Firm represented the plaintiffs – the family of the deceased, Woodrow Player. The incident resulted in the death of Woodrow Player, a 22 year-old known gang member.
The incident occurred on July 10, 2009. Deputies from the Lennox Sheriff’s sub-station responded to a 9-1-1 call around 9:00 p.m. A woman stated that her former boyfriend had pointed a handgun at her ribs and threatened to kill her.
While en route to the call, responding deputies saw a vehicle driven by the suspect matching the description provided in the 9-1-1 call. When the deputies attempted to stop the vehicle, it pulled into the parking lot of a liquor store. The deputies then ordered the driver to raise his hands, a basic procedure while conducting felony stop. About the same time, the suspect reached toward the floorboard area of the vehicle as if attempting to retrieve or conceal something. The driver then appeared to comply with the deputies’ commands and exited the vehicle. Then he ran across a major boulevard into a residential alley. As the deputies pursued the suspect, twice he turned towards them, while running, and pointed a dark object in their direction.
The deputies, fearing for their lives and the lives of others, fired their duty-weapons at the suspect who was mortally wounded. A dark-colored cell phone was recovered next to his body, and a loaded handgun was found in the vehicle from which he had just fled. According to the deputies, the suspect was later identified as Woodrow Player, a 22-year old gang member.
Representing the deputies, Attorney Ivey was able to convince the jury that the incident had occurred as the deputies had reported and then testified in court. Furthermore, the subsequent investigation that routinely follows officer-involved shooting obviously validated the deputies’ version of the incident. Hence the civil jury returned a unanimous verdict, in which it found no wrongdoing by the deputies.
After the verdict, Attorney Ivie, spoke with the jurors and stated, “The jury felt the deputies were extremely credible in their testimony. They said the deputies exhibited bravery in pursuing a suspect who was believed to be armed with a gun,” he concluded.