Family of Woman Killed by Border Patrol Files Wrongful Death Claim
Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) November 23, 2012 - The family of a woman shot to death by U.S. Border patrol has filed a wrongful death claim.
Valeria “Munique” Alvarado, a mother of five, was shot to death in September by a U.S. Border Patrol agent in Chula Vista, California. Her family has filed a claim of wrongful death against the agency.
“The tragedy of this young mother's death must be fully investigated,” said Tampa personal injury attorney Robert Joyce. “Hopefully, investigators will get to the bottom of the shooting and determine whether it could have been prevented.”
The agent, 34-year-old Justin Tackett, was dressed in plain clothes and investigating potential drug activity, unrelated to Alvarado, in the area. Other agents present say that Alvarado deliberately struck Tackett with her car. The agent was forced to ride on the hood of the car for several hundred feet. Tackett then shot Alvarado through the windshield nine times, according to the family's attorney.
The family intends to sue both the border agent who shot Alvarado and the agency that hired him, claiming they did not perform the required background checks on the officer. They also say the agent used excessive force in the shooting.
Documents filed in the claim as part of a required precursor to the wrongful death lawsuit show Tackett has a history of misconduct. In fewer than four years as an Imperial County sheriff's deputy, he received four suspensions for behavior, including violating suspects' rights and crashing a patrol car.
The claim further alleges that in 2002, during a probation case, Tackett failed to follow a direct order, and provided false information to investigators.
Shawn Moran of the National Border Patrol Council said he believed Tackett's actions in the incident were appropriate, and said Tackett would have the council's backing.
“Lawsuits of injury or wrongful death against law enforcement officers can be especially difficult,” added Mr. Joyce. “Anyone contemplating such a claim should be sure to hire an experienced attorney.”
Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave,
Tampa, FL 33606
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