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Witnesses speak out: stories differ in Union City police shooting

When a loved one is lost due to negligent or careless conduct, the victim's survivors have the legal right to seek compensation from the person or people responsible for the wrongful death. In addition to negligent and careless conduct, reckless conduct that results in a tragedy can also give rise to wrongful death claim in Georgia.

Last month, tragedy struck when someone fired a shot in the air in Union City. According to witnesses, as a young man ran away from the scene of a confrontation with police, he was twice shot in the back by a law enforcement officer, which inflicted a deadly injury.

A public outcry has demanded an investigation into exactly what happened into the young man's alleged wrongful death. The Union City Police Department issued a statement that the shooting was a result of a struggle for a weapon, but the autopsy and two young eyewitnesses suggest differently.

The eyewitnesses claim that they were intimidated by law enforcement when they attempted to come forward. Their story suggests what the autopsy does, that the 19-year-old man was fatally shot in the back twice. According to news reports, the officer that shot the young man broke police rules when he attended the initial interviews with the young eyewitnesses.

The family of the victim has been given the opportunity to meet with the District Attorney's office, which is conducting an investigation in order to determine if the police officers should face disciplinary action and even criminal charges for the young man's death. The meeting was scheduled after dozens of people attended public meetings to protest the shooting and the investigation into the alleged police misconduct.

Sources: The Atlanta Journal, "Family to meet with DA over Union City police shooting," Steve Visser, Jan. 17, 2012

11Alive.com, "Union City Police Department Statement on Fatal Police Shooting," Jon Shirek, Jan. 16, 2012

CBS Atlanta, "Eyewitnesses of police shooting meet with GBI investigators," Craig Bell, Jan. 16, 2012

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