Virginia Supreme Court reverses $1M award in police shooting

Police Lights Daytime Day Generic WTVR
Posted at 5:06 PM, Jan 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-26 17:06:17-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The Supreme Court of Virginia reversed a jury’s decision to award $1 million in damages to the family of a man fatally shot during a 2019 standoff with police.

The 4-3 ruling involving the shooting of Jeffrey Tyree by Virginia Beach Police Detective Bradley Colas was issued Thursday, The Virginian-Pilot reported.

Officers responded to a report of a man, Tyree, trying to harm himself and police said Tyree was shot after he picked up a knife and approached an officer in a “threatening manner.” Police and prosecutors determined the shooting was justified and Colas still works as a city police officer.

Tyree’s family sued Colas and another officer who tackled Tyree. In 2021, a jury found Colas liable and awarded the family $1 million in damages. The judge ruled there wasn’t enough evidence against the second officer.

The majority of the court ruled that the judge should have dismissed the case before it was sent to the jury or set the verdict aside, because no evidence presented at trial contradicted Colas’ claims.

The Tyree family was disappointed with the decision and would explore further options, such as seeking a rehearing and reconsideration with the Supreme Court of Virginia, according to Kevin Martingayle, who represented the family.



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