The family of a man who was stabbing an officer with a pair of scissors when he was fatally shot has been awarded $2.5 million.
A jury said the officer used "unreasonable force" in the 2013 incident in which Officer Jairo Acosta—with the Los Banos (CA) Police Department—responded to a call of domestic violence in which 80-year-old Tan Lam said his 43-year-old son had assaulted him.
When Officer Acosta arrived at the scene, Sonny Lam—armed with a pair of scissors—attacked Acosta, who then fired two shots from his service pistol. The subject was transported to a nearby hospital, where he subsequently died.
The jury reportedly said that it was "unclear as to whether the officer was under immediate threat when he fired the second round" which caused the subject's death, the Los Banos PD said in a written statement posted to Facebook.
"All life is valuable and the use of deadly force is never taken lightly at the Los Banos Police Department but we respectfully disagree with the verdict and stand by Officer Acosta and believe that he acted in self-defense in his use of lethal force during a sequence of events that lasted less than a minute," the department said.
The department says it plans to file an appeal.