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Santa Ana Wrongful Death Settlement Reached in Police Shooting of Young Mother

December 31, 1969

Two years ago, our Anaheim personal injury law firm reported on an Orange County, California wrongful death claim filed against Santa Ana police over the death of a 37-year-old Irvine woman. The family of Susie Young King wanted compensation because police shot her during a 30-minute chase through Santa Ana, Fullerton, Anaheim, and Buena Park. Her daughter, 13-months, was in the backseat of her Toyota at the time. The city has now agreed to pay $2.45 million to Kim's family to settle their Santa Ana wrongful death case.

The chase started early on April 10, 2009, because Kim wouldn't stop after police tried to pull her over for a traffic violation. She reportedly had cocaine and alcohol (her BAC was .18%) in her body. The police pursuit, which reached speeds of up 110 to 120 mph, ended when one of the cops shot at the car.

In their Santa Ana wrongful death claim, Susie's estate, her daughter Angelica Kim Contreras, and her parents Yung and Nancy Kim claimed police purposely endangered the little girl, engaged in excessive use of "deadly force," and applied improper tactics that led to the "justified' shooting.

In July, a federal judge declared a mistrial in the Santa Ana wrongful death trial because the jury couldn't reach an agreement on whether police officer Brandon Sontag had used excessive force. Sontag had testified that he shot at Kim in self-defense because she "floored it" as he approached her car. However, the Kim family's California injury lawyer said that Sontag shot his weapon even as Kim's vehicle drove by him.

Excessive Use of Police Force
Unfortunately, police officers can make mistakes and use too much force when doing their job. This can lead to injuries and deaths--especially when pepper spray, batons, Tasers, or guns and involved. For example, a police officer should only use his/her gun as a last alternative. This means that he/she must exhaust all other, less dangerous options first. Excessive use of police force is a violation of the other person's civil rights.

Excessive use of force can also be used when an officer is engaging in police brutality, which can include physical assault, verbal violence, sexual assault, false arrests, racial profiling, making threats, intimidation, and other acts of violence. Police brutality, too, is a violation of one's civil rights. It is also against the law.

Do not be afraid to speak with a Santa Ana excessive use of force law firm to find out whether you have grounds for filing a complaint against a police officer, his/her department, or the city that employs this cop. You may be entitled to Orange County, California personal injury recovery. Even if prosecutors choose not to pursue charges against the offending police officer, you can still pursue your own civil claim and possibly receive compensation.

Santa Ana pays $2.45 million in fatal shooting of mom, OC Register, October 19, 2011

Woman With Baby in Car Killed at End of Police Chase, NBC LA, January 7, 2010

Santa Ana Police

More Blog Posts:
Parents File $20 Million Orange County, California Wrongful Death Claim for Daughter's Fatal Shooting by Santa Ana Police, California Injury Lawyers, July 21, 2009

Mentally Ill Homeless Man Beaten by Fullerton Police Died from Asphyxia, Reports Coroner, California Injury Lawyers, September 21, 2011

Newport Beach Wrongful Death Lawsuit Blames Police for Suicide of Man While in Custody, California Injury Lawyers, August 6, 2011