After awaiting answers for over a year, the family of police shooting victim Richard Ferretti recently filed a lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia and three police officers for the wrongful shooting death of Richard last May. Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., attorneys Ken Rothweiler and Todd Schoenhaus are representing the Ferretti family in the lawsuit. We first began covering the Richard Ferretti police shooting on our blog in November and continue to provide updates as the situation unfolds, including a recent Philadelphia Inquirer article on where things stand in the Ferretti shooting investigation one year later.
Why Did Police Shoot an Unarmed Man While He Was Looking for a Parking?
On the night Richard Ferretti was shot and killed, he had reportedly gone out to the gas station in his minivan to get gas for another car he and his girlfriend shared, which had run out of gas. As he was returning to his neighborhood, he was driving around searching for parking. During this time, police received a call about a “suspicious” minivan driving in the area where Richard was searching for a parking spot. Undercover police officers nearby tracked down Richard in his minivan as he continued to search for parking. The officers called for backup.
Uniformed police officers in a squad car responded to the backup request. After the police officers in the squad car pulled up behind Richard’s minivan with their flashing lights on, Richard reportedly kept driving.
As a result, the undercover officers pulled in front of Richard’s minivan in their unmarked car. The undercover officers exited their vehicle and ordered Richard to stop his van and turn off the engine. Police claim that instead of stopping, Richard pulled forward, which led to one of the officers pulling his gun and shooting Richard four times. However, according to witnesses, before he was shot, Richard was yelling “I’m stopping!”
How Will the Richard Ferretti Police Shooting Lawsuit Help?
Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C., partner Ken Rothweiler, who is one of the attorneys representing the Ferretti family, said, “In using excessive and deadly force against Richard Ferretti, Officer Coolbaugh and two other police officers – whom the city has repeatedly declined to identify – first deprived Richard Ferretti of his Constitutional right to be free from an unreasonable search and seizure, among other civil rights. They then deprived him of his life. We hope this lawsuit may provide an important step not only to obtaining justice for Richard Ferretti, but towards providing the people of Philadelphia with a police force they can trust.”