California City Makes $2.65 Million Settlement With Family of Slain War Veteran

Parminder Singh Shergill was shot 14 times by two police officers responding to his family’s call to help contain the schizophrenic veteran in Lodi, California.


The city of Lodi in California has made a settlement with the family of an Indian-origin Gulf War veteran, who was shot by the police and killed in 2014, for $2.65 million.

Parminder Singh Shergill, 43, was fatally shot by police officers while walking around in his neighborhood. The police had claimed that Shergill had charged at them with a knife but witnesses had said otherwise.

A civil rights attorney from Sacramento, California, Mark Merin, who represented Shergill’s family said that the city of Lodi avoided a jury trial, which could have led to a bigger award to the veteran’s family.

“In the past, jurors have tended to give officers the benefit of the doubt in these cases,” Merin said, according to Sacramento Bee. “But that edge is evaporating.”

On Jan. 25, 2014, Shergill, who suffered from schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression after being honorably discharged from the military, did not take his prescribed medication and became anxious. He left the house for his morning routine walk but his family wanted to take him to the Veteran’s Affairs Clinic in French Camp. However, they needed help to transport the veteran, and so they called the police.

Officers Scott Bratton and Adam Lockie found Shergill and tried to speak to him. He refused and continued to walk towards his home. The police officers said they shot Shergill as he pulled a folding knife from his pocket and turned toward them. He was shot 14 times. He was struck in the abdomen, chest, arm, legs, jaw and back. Bratton and Lockie said they feared for their and Shergill’s family’s safety.

Four witnesses said that Shergill was not armed. One of them said that Shergill asked them to not shoot him, according to Lodi News. Another one said that “he didn’t move. He was just standing there,” according to Sacramento Bee.

Lodi agreed to settle with Shergill’s family after U.S. District Court Judge Troy Nunley denied the city’s efforts to dismiss the case.

He added in his order that “a jury could conclude” that the officers “shot to death a man who at most committed a misdemeanor, was not fleeing, had not armed himself with a weapon, was not threatening the officers or anyone else, and asked them not to shoot him.”

After the incident, a protocol investigation conducted by a team that included the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office, Lodi Police Department, the county Sheriff’s Office and the state Department of Justice concluded in January 2015, cleared the officers. They were also cleared of criminal liability by the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office.

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