Jury finds in favor of police officer in South L.A. wrongful death case

After two hours of deliberation, a jury found in favor of a Los Angeles police officer in a wrongful death case brought by the wife of a man killed in the Crenshaw area Monday.

Laura Michelle Cox, a Woodland Hills resident, sued Officer Jose Campos for excessive force in the shooting of her husband Maurice Cox on March 1, 2008.

“I’m in total shock,” Cox said of the verdict and how quickly it was reached, according to City News Service.

Cox argued that the 13 shots fired at her husband were excessive because the object in his hand that the officers perceived to be a weapon was, in fact, a cell phone.

But the 9-3 verdict found against her.

“I’m totally relieved,’” said Campos, a 10-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department, according to City News Service. “We’re out there to protect the public and to do the right thing.”

Cox said she and her lawyers are investigating a possible appeal.

Maurice Cox was killed after crashing his truck near Crenshaw Boulevard on a night his wife said he had been playing dominoes with friends. Believing Maurice Cox was armed, several officers fired nearly 50 rounds at Maurice Cox, the fatal wound coming from a Los Angeles Police Department officer who was no longer in the case when it went to a jury.

The shooting was captured on film by Alex Alonso of streetgangs.com and a service station security camera.

The District Attorney’s office investigated the shooting but decided against prosecuting the officers involved.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons