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The Draskovich Law Group Pursues Justice After Police Shooting


Excessive Police Force Threatens the Wellness of Our Communities

Sommer Richards was holding a shovel when she was shot 7 times by Police Officer Ondre Wills.  Ms. Richards, in the midst of a “psychological episode” allegedly “hit a vehicle with a shovel” according to a 911 caller who summoned police to the scene.  She has entered an Alford plea in response to one charge of assault with a deadly weapon. 

The police response was the cause of a second assault that evening: When officers arrived on the scene, they separated Ms. Richards from her alleged targets but did little more to defuse the situation.  Therefore, Ms. Richards was still clearly agitated when Officer Wills commanded her to drop her shovel.  In her inflamed emotional state, she has explained, she did not know if he was talking to her.  She didn’t comply—and though she wasn’t making any threatening actions, Wills opened fire on her. 

Officer Wills shot Ms. Richards seven times, hitting her in the arm, leg, and abdomen.  She was sent to the hospital in serious condition after the shooting.  

What Is Appropriate Use of Non-Lethal Force?

Courts have long debated what’s acceptable police conduct, especially as reports of police shootings have sparked protests and lawsuits across the country.  We argue that, in Ms. Richard’s case, there was no need for Officer Wills to fire on her at all, much less seven times.  No one was in immediate danger and Ms. Richard’s shovel was clearly no match for a gun.  Officer Wills’ body camera footage shows that he recognized Ms. Richards’ delicate emotional state upon arriving on the scene.  He narrated, via his radio, that she was clearly mentally ill.  Yet, instead of trying to alleviate tensions, he added to them, shouting commands and drawing his gun. 

We recognize that Wills himself is not the only liable party in this situation.  The Metropolitan Police Department knew he had not been trained properly in the use of non-lethal force, or in mental health interventions, but charged him with protecting the community.  After Wills fired on Ms. Richards, his superiors put him on paid leave—and then allowed him to resign before a disciplinary hearing that would be reflected on his record.

A Badge Is Not an Excuse

Ms. Richards is not the only victim of trigger-happy Metropolitan Police officers.  The department was responsible for 21 other shootings in 2018, 12 of which resulted in fatalities.  Statewide, Nevada police are involved in more deadly incidents than most other states.  Ms. Richards hopes that by bringing her case, she will not only receive the compensation she deserves after being struck by 7 bullets and sustaining permanent injury, but also maintain pressure on police departments that fail to properly train and discipline their officers.

Seeking Damages After Violent Attack

Attorney Draskovich counseled Ms. Richards to file a federal case against the officer and the Metropolitan Police Department to pursue compensation after the irresponsible and unwarranted shooting.  Officer Wills’ assault left her with severe mental and emotional trauma, as well as lasting injury: She can no longer completely extend her right arm or hold anything with her right hand.  One officer’s poor judgement resulted in life-changing injuries that no suspect, regardless of guilt, should have to endure.   

Police shootings cause a loss of community trust that is essential to keeping the peace.  Drawing a gun on a civilian should be law enforcement officers’ last resort—not their first response to any sign of trouble.  If your rights have been violated by the use of excessive force during an arrest, you may be able to bring a lawsuit against the officer(s) who mistreated you.   

Talk to our team online or call (702) 381-6590 for your free consultation today.