Civil suit filed in Nogales shooting death involving officers
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Tucson attorney Paul Gattone has filed a civil lawsuit against eight Nogales police officers, one Santa Cruz sheriff’s deputy as well as the Nogales Police Department and the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department in the fatal shooting of 39 year old Glen Cockrum last year.
According the lawsuit, the officers fired 122 shots in 90 seconds into the cab of the semi-truck Cockrum was driving following a slow speed chase through parts of Nogales.
You can read the lawsuit here.
The civil suit was brought by Cockum’s mother, Cora Waller.
The suit alleges the force used by the lawmen was excessive. Cockrum had been charged with misdemeanor trespassing.
“He did not in any way threaten them with the truck or attempt to hit them with the truck,” Gattone said. “Or take any actions that would have justified the use of force.”
Cockrum had delivered a truck load of produce in Phoenix when he was dispatched to Rio Rico to pick up another load.
He apparently went to the wrong warehouse where he parked his truck. After a conversation with an employee, the Sheriff’s department was called.
Cockrum did not get out of his vehicle during the half hour ordeal.
“He was bipolar, he had some schizophrenic issues,” Gattone said. “But the ultimate issue is how police handle mental health situations.”
Gattone says in his lawsuit that the Nogales police department has a history of escalating situations where mental health issues are involved.
The suit does not specify a dollar amount at this time.
“The question is what’s a human life worth,. it’s really hard to put a value on that,” he said. “At this point we have not asked for specific value, the evidence will determine that.”
The officers were exonerated and an investigation found the shooting to be justified.
Neither the Sheriff’s nor the Police department responded to a request for comment.
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