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Widow of Colorado Officer Sues Agency, Officer Over Friendly Fire Death

May 09, 2014  | 

Officer James Davies (Photo: Lakewood PD)
Officer James Davies (Photo: Lakewood PD)

The widow of a Lakewood, Colo., police officer is suing the SWAT officer who shot and killed her husband, the City of Lakewood, the police department, the police chief, and several officers.

James Davies, 35, was killed in the line of duty by another officer in November 2012, outside a home near the border of Lakewood and Edgewater. Officers were checking on a report of a loud party when they heard shots fired in another location and went to investigate, according to police spokesman Steve Davis.

Davies' widow, Tamara Davies, filed the lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of her husband's estate, ABC 7 reports.

Related Story:

Colo. Officer Killed by Friendly Fire

Tags: Friendly Fire, Lawsuits, Lakewood (Colo.) PD


Comments (24)

Displaying 1 - 24 of 24

Phil @ 5/9/2014 2:57 PM

This is clearly a case of "suicide by cop". Davies got what he wanted. Now his wife is whining about it! She needs to grow up and just get over it! The shooter is clearly a hero and the real victim here. He has to live with it. At least he got to go home at the end of his shift, and his pension isn't at risk! Good shoot!

Ima Leprechaun @ 5/9/2014 5:35 PM

Many many Officer involved shootings are shot by other Officers on the scene causing injury and death to each other. This is unfortunate but very true. I can't be as cold and Phil@ when I know this happens a lot by accident.

Ima Leprechaun @ 5/9/2014 5:46 PM

I read the link on the above article this was in no way a suicide by cop. We had a clearly uniformed police officer shot by another clearly uniformed police officer even after both Officers spoke to each other. This was one scared cop firing an AR-15 without thinking but he had a full lighted view of Officer Davies with his gun mounted flashlight. Even if this were a civilian shoot I'd say the shooter overreacted. There was no threat involved to the shooter. I'd say Davies wife has a good case against the Department. Also there was a huge responsibility to Officer Davies supervisor that assigned Officer Davies the position he was killed at to inform all others of the unit of his presence. This was a huge mistake by the supervisor.

Ima Leprechaun @ 5/9/2014 5:55 PM

My only correction is that most on scene Officers were investigators and probably not in uniform. Officer Davies was however told to maintain his position by a supervisor over the radio until relieved. Several major departmental policy violations occurred that night from supervisors and other investigators. The biggest mistake was putting an investigator armed with an AR-15 into a hot situation without any prior briefing of the situation. Also for some unknown reason the shooter was not monitoring the situation on his radio prior to his arrival at the scene. This whole mess was inevitable from the start and wholly preventable.

Carlos @ 5/10/2014 5:12 AM

Anyone with any kind of intelligence and actually read the article can tell that this is in no way a SBC incident. This was a case of mistaken identification and a very unfortunate incident all around.

Semperlex @ 5/10/2014 7:01 AM

Excuse me for being unprofessional but Phil you are an ass! This is a real tragedy that we all need to learn from! Every PD should should review the many mistakes that happened here. My thoughts go out to his widow and children, while this is a tragedy, they should be compensated for the foolish operational procedures that the department had in place.

Not Phil the Troll @ 5/10/2014 8:22 AM

Get out of here Phill you F Troll!

Jim B. @ 5/10/2014 8:59 AM

Leprechaun, I agree that that this was a tragic situation and that the widow probably has a good case against the department. But I'm curious as to where you got some of the information in your second post. Where did you hear that most of the officers on scene were investigators and not in uniform? I didn't read anything like that in the accompanying article. Also, the officer who fired (Braley) was a SWAT officer, not an investigator. Don't know if he was in uniform or not but I'm guessing at minimum some sort or SWAT uniform, not a jacket and tie. Not really a big point, just curious how you came to those conclusions. As you mentioned, the big mistake was the lack of a briefing for Braley. Davies was clearly in uniform but he was standing behind a privacy fence so Braley couldn't see it. All Braley could see was his face and both hands, one of which was holding a pistol. Don't know if it was inevitable from the start but certainly preventable.

Jim B. @ 5/10/2014 9:16 AM

There are a lot of lessons that we can all learn from this. Things that in hindsight were mistakes but I'm not sure I would call them catastrophic or boneheaded mistakes. Davies being left alone at the fence, the Sgt in charge going in the house, even Braley going out to search the backyard without a briefing, all things that could have been done better but not that unusual.

I think the widow will get money from the dept either in a settlement or verdict but I don't think any of the officers will be found personally liable. Leprechaun, you said Braley was "one scared cop firing an AR-15 without thinking but he had a full lighted view of Officer Davies with his gun mounted flashlight." In fact he didn't have a "full view" of Davies, just his face and hands. One of which held a gun. I wish he had waited a second or two and maybe Davies could have identified himself, but I'm struggling to call it an overreaction. In another situation, that extra second could have cost Braley his life.

Capt. Crunch @ 5/10/2014 9:58 AM

The officer was in full uniform and following orders from his sergeant and got shot by another officer on the same investigation/location. I say the wife as a good case. I feel bad for the officers involved, seeing one of their own die. But in no way do I blame the wife for suing the Dept. and the officer who shot her husband. I would think any officer would want his/her spouse to do the same thing.

Joe the blowey @ 5/10/2014 12:57 PM

So many of you jack thugs love to shoot maybe we should build a 12 ft x 12 ft AR-500 lined wall and you can all just shoot to your hearts desire ---all the while I can laugh it up as we hear PING PING PING duck duck hey CHU NEEDS more bullets ESSE ? Sad you all get off on couple pieces of Plastic CR- MOLY steel and springs and Hercules NO. 9 powder .,... look just tools and not going to make you a SUPER MAN or super hero cannot control your fire should not have any weapon period! Want to shoot something get a 2 ft thick pieces of OAK LOG or Hickory and shoot into it all day guarantee you you will eventually tire out --don't worry the wood is already dead LOL!

Adam @ 5/10/2014 2:45 PM

I am a law enforcement officer from the metro area, and my wife personally knows Tammy Davis. This woman has been through hell. We are trained to always be accountable for our rounds and to be sure of our target. Was this a tragic accident? Yes it was,but don't judge the woman for wanting to take care of her two children. Phil, you are clearly just an inconsiderate jerk. This was in no way suicide by cop. He was actually working extra to help take care of his family.

TheRookie @ 5/10/2014 3:17 PM

Good letter Adam. As a Denver Metro-Area retired L.E.O. I've had numerous situations in my 24 years to be in a cross fire situation, unidentifiable area(s), and so on. It's not tiddlywinks we're out there playing. Keep your head up Mrs. Davis, Brothers/Sisters in Uniformed always watch for the unknown, always.

Phil @ 5/10/2014 5:13 PM

If Davies was a cripple, or an unarmed kid or a quadriplegic or in the wrong house when it was invaded, nobody would shed a tear if he got gunned down! Why should anybody care now? His wife just wants attention. Hey Mrs. Davies, this is America! You're more likely to be murdered by a cop than by a terrorist! Get used to it and get over it! Cops rule! We ARE the law! We'll do what we want when we want and how we want and civilians be damned!

Ima Leprechaun @ 5/10/2014 9:59 PM

JimB@, I read the link associated with this article and any links from there. The link mentioned that Davies was fully visible because the shooter could see his gun hand which held his weapon at the ready in the down position. Davies was an investigator whether he was uniformed or not his full body was visible to the shooter which had lit him up with his AR-15 mounted flashlight. The shooter was spoken to when he lit the other officer up and if I were Davies I would have moved to shield my eyes with a light shown in my face. The "hey" Davies said when the other officer lit him up was presented as a type of recognition. Davies location was made available to anyone listening to the radio on that frequency and he was ordered to stand exactly where he was by his Sergeant. The AR-15 officer engaged so quickly without confirming his target indicates he was already operating within an adrenaline high caused by fear and had no control over his actions. (Fear is not meant as a cowardly response as I think you are taking it but fear does cause an adrenaline dump which confuses tactical reactions) He had to have been in fear of his life to have fired his weapon unless he had planned to kill Davies all along. I see this shooting as an accident and unfortunately it cost someone his life. At least I hope the shooting was unintentional. I do not fault his wife for trying to take care of her family and her husband's legacy.

KevCopAz @ 5/11/2014 3:14 PM

Phil,

You are a troll and a D--K, get off of here and let people who know what they are talking about do so. You are a moron.

Lt Dan @ 5/12/2014 4:52 AM

Since Adam seems to be familiar, maybe he can shed a little light on IF the agency has done the right thing by Tammy Davis. Obviously attorneys are involved here. Seems that if a reasonable claim was submitted here and paid, this would all be over with. Sadly, I suspect that the facts are not in dispute but the damages in dollars are. By dragging this out, all attorneys stack up billable hours that help pay for their nice cars and homes. Call me a cynic, but if the EMPLOYER did the right thing and paid a reasonable claim, all would be resolved. Instead, we have a system that further injurs a widow and children and the ATTORNEYS in that system are rewarded via BILLABLE HOURS for representing the insurers, employers, and damaged parties.

Johnny Law @ 5/12/2014 6:37 AM

Sorry Mrs Davies for your loss, my prayers go out to you and your family. I am also sorry for the officer who shot Officer Davies. Hopefully the department will investigate this tragedy and make the policy changes necessary to prevent this from happening again. To Phil, go back under the rock you crawled out from you piece of Sh%t! You are not a LEO so shut up and go back to mommy's basement and play video games.

Trigger @ 5/12/2014 7:09 AM

This was a true tragedy. Early in my career I and another officer took off on foot after a car thief, this was after a car chase (3:00am with very limited street lights and alot of trees). When the backup officers arrived they began looking for us, I heard one of the backup officers yell at someone to put their hands up and drop to their knees. I thought great he got the idiot, what I did not immediately realize was that the backup officer was yelling at me with his shotgun pointed at my back. The super bright flashlights were not available then and most of our portable radios were not realiable, so in many situations we could have easily been shot by a fellow officer. Fortunately we were able to overcome, however there were some hair raising times with this type of situation that our survival from "potential friendly fire" could only be attributed to the Good Lord watching over us.

tedb @ 5/12/2014 8:39 AM

Phil and Joe Blowme... If I recall correctly, you can now access psychiatric care under the Affordable Care Act. Please take advantage of this valuable resource, as you both obviously are in need of intervention.

westcoastleo @ 5/12/2014 3:15 PM

Everyone can post what ever you want, but unless you were there that night and really know how it occurred you can't chime in on the incident. You can talk to friends of friends of the wife, you can talk to the wife, you can talk to the supervisors friends and the shooting officers friends, but unless you were there you don't know and will never really know what happened. Let it go, let the court handle it and the mounds of evidence for both sides speak,

Jim B. @ 5/17/2014 10:34 AM

Leprechaun, thanks for the reply. I couldn't find the anywhere that said Braley could see Davies' full body with Davies' gun pointed down or in a "low ready" position. What I saw in the ABC7 link was that Davies was peering over a fence and Braley could see both his hands and most of his face. The fence was repeatedly referred to as a "privacy fence" so I'm assuming a wooden or plastic fence that could't be seen through. No dispute that Davies was in uniform just that the uniform couldn't be seen. I never saw any reference to Braley in uniform or not. Anyway, not trying to argue about it, just pointing out what I read. I had misinterpreted your comment about the "scared officer" as derogatory, thanks for the clarification. I understand what you are saying.
I also do not fault the wife for filing suit. I hope no one interpreted my comments to think I did.

LA-S.O.P. @ 5/18/2014 4:25 PM

These a$$holes, "PHIL" and "Joe the Blooey," just love attention. They post these antagonistic comments to get reactions from other readers. There should be a way to flag these types of comments.

SOA-A @ 5/24/2014 7:41 PM

Phil, we will shoot who we want when we want. We don't answer to you. Or to anybody that isn't a cop. Go play in your dead mummy's basement.

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