Family of Alleged Informant Fatally Shot by Officers Files Lawsuit

Posted on Mar 2, 2010 5:45pm PST

A lawsuit has been filed against four Florida police departments and several individual officers by the family of a man who was fatally shot by a Lee County sheriff's deputy last year.

The family of Arthur Lee Coleman claims Coleman's death was unjustified, and is now seeking monetary damages. Michelle Berthiaume, the attorney representing Coleman's family, argued that "overzealous police work caused him to lose his life."

Coleman was allegedly acting as an informant for the sheriff's department and other law enforcement agencies, helping them break up a vehicle-theft ring operating out of Fort Myers and Miami. A fugitive task force was after him for violating his probation when he was shot by the officer.

Coleman, a well-known car thief himself, was facing 16 criminal counts, including racketeering, grand theft of a motor vehicle, and dealing in stolen property. As part of a plea deal, Coleman agreed to plead guilty and, in exchange for going to jail, serve 30 months of probation. Going undercover and helping police with the theft ring was also part of that plea deal.

Berthiaume says Coleman's family could be entitled to up to $150,000 in damages.

If you believe your loved one was unjustly killed at the hands of a law enforcement officer, you can turn to Lanier Law Group, P.A. for help. Excessive force and police brutality are the cause of many injuries and deaths, but often times people don't take legal action because they feel they don't have chance against a police officer. At our firm, we believe that every victim has a voice, and are committed to doing whatever we can to ensure justice is served. Whether you're interested in filing a wrongful death lawsuit or a personal injury claim, you can depend on an experienced North Carolina personal injury attorney at Lanier Law Group, P.A. to advocate your legal rights and help you pursue a claim for maximum compensation.

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