Jury Awards Payday To Family Of Man Shot While Actively Stabbing Officer

A jury has awarded $2.75 million to the family of Sonny Lam, who was fatally shot while stabbing an officer in 2013.

Sacramento, CA A jury has awarded $2.75 million to the family of a man who was fatally shot by a Los Banos police officer as he was actively stabbing the officer with a pair of scissors.

According to the jury, the officer used unreasonable force by shooting one too many times, the Merced Sun-Star reported.

The incident took place at approximately 3 p.m. on Sep. 2, 2013, when 80-year-old Tan Lam called police to report that he had been assaulted by his 43-year-old son, Sonny Lam.

Tans neighbor helped him with the call, due to the fact that Tan spoke very little English.

He said he was worried about Sonnys mental health, and said Sonny had threatened to kill him.

Los Banos Police Officer Jairo Acosta responded to the Lams shared residence, but was not made aware of Sonnys purported mental health issues, the Merced Sun-Star reported.

Tan escorted Officer Acosta into a room, where the officer attempted to convince Sonny to come outside.

Sonny refused, then grabbed a pair of scissors, police said.

[He] attacked Officer Acosta, stabbing him in his left arm, the Los Banos Police Department said in a press release on Friday. The Officer drew his firearm and a struggle ensued between the Officer and the suspect over the firearm.

Fearing for his safety, the Officer discharged his weapon twice, striking the suspect in the left leg and the chest, the department said.

Sonny was rushed to a local hospital, but died of his injuries during surgery.

On Aug. 15, a Sacramento jury ruled that Sonny stabbed Officer Acosta with the scissors before the officer shot him in the leg, the Merced Sun-Star reported.

But the jury was unclear as to whether the Officer was under immediate threat when he fired the second roundthe round that caused the suspects death, the police department said in the press release.

Because Sonny did not have ahold Officer Acostas gun, the jurors ruled that Officer Acosta was negligent in shooting Sonny the second time, the Merced Sun-Star reported.

They held Sonny comparatively at fault, thereby reducing the final verdict amount by 30 percent, the department said.

The agency said it fully backs Officer Acosta, who still works for the department and has been promoted to the rank of detective since the attack occurred, the Merced Sun-Star reported.

All life is valuable and the use of deadly force is never taken lightly, the Los Banos Police Department said in the press release. 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 it will appeal the verdict.

Comments (48)
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Saint777
Saint777

OMG!

angeleyes
angeleyes

Crazy, crazy, crazy. TG his family got money, more then he would ever make in his lifetime, more than most everyone would make. I hope the department does appeal the verdict and wins. It's california, so their laws are different. I think it should secede from the US, give it back to illegals, thugs and politicians. Let it become what it wants, which is to be a sanctuary city. Then let it, but all the citizens have to agree to stay there and not come to the real US. No more federal, state or city monies anymore. Can we vote on this?

Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

Kaching,, Kaching.........the winner is................the stabbers family !!!!!!! Who would have thought........

NTPD935Ret
NTPD935Ret

OMG! It must be something in the water because all of the people in California are nuts! But I think I have the jury logic figured out... suspect gets a stab, Officer gets a shot then the suspect was suppose to get his turn and get a stab! The officer cheated by taking his shot out of turn, thus $2.75 million for not playing fair! Its not fair!, the jury whined. The worst part of this is that the fin judge did not throw out the jurys verdict. What a bazaar land California has turned into. Can we get a law barring any Californians from moving out of that state and carrying this disease out of their state? This has to be a public health issue.

DeeBlue
DeeBlue

This is insane, even the jury its agains law enforcement

TrueAmerican
TrueAmerican

Sometimes I have to read these stories twice to make sure I didn't miss something!!! How the hell can this jury think gor a second that this Officer was wrong!! I like angeleyes comment about the people of Cali. not moving and bringing they're stupidity with them. SMH

gaggerocyn
gaggerocyn

This is MIND BLOWING and, am I also seeing a payday trend to rightful shootings??? Excuse me, but when it's fight or flight, the training received is NOT to clip or try for say, a leg, etc., it is to put the criminal down and stop the threat of death to the officers. That is how they are trained to save their lives when faced with mentally unstable people that stab them, AND fight for their service weapon GOOD LORD... Even the parents were afraid of him.... Heck, stab me and I would use deadly force too!

soar697877
soar697877

And the public wonder why so many cities out there are having a hard time to recruit, smh

C911
C911

Wtf? I cant believe this story. The judge and jury are thugs! Now officers are expected to only cause a minor gunshot wound. Bullshit, shoot to kill!It just doesnt pay enough for the officers to put up with this cruelty. And now the judges are in on it. They need a cap on suing law enforcement! They need to change the judicial system where these kind of things are happening. Where does all this money come from?

Trefflek
Trefflek

Its California, so no surprise for the insanity.

Memphis6
Memphis6

This is why I won't miss California when the wildfires finish purging out of existence.

LaneysSis
LaneysSis

Sacramento, it figures.....what a ridiculous verdict and the reasoning behind it was even more ridiculous. I read Sacramento Police are leaving in droves and this just adds more reasons why they should get out before they would have to go before a leftist bias jury like this one. Every day it is something with this damn California.

dsmarine
dsmarine

I wonder when various levels of government in California will run out of taxpayer money to throw around to criminals?

PADDYWAGON
PADDYWAGON

.......Mega KUDOS to the Los Banos P.D.. Would that all other forces throughout our great nation imitate them. This is a stellar example of "standing by your man". Excellent job, Los Banos P.D.

run2net
run2net

All police officers who are not libtards should quit and leave that State to rot away.

Stanracer
Stanracer

Comparably at fault???? That's such crap! He was wholly at fault. This is what happens when you attack a police officer with a weapon.

CIDGPDCSP
CIDGPDCSP

Absolutely ridiculous lawsuit and settlement.

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

There is so much talk of California expecting "the big one", the state actually separating from the continental US, or the residents leaving the collective US of A and living under their own government......

.. I live elsewhere but am hoping we can somehow hurry the process along . If it ever occurs they will quickly sink in the Pacific.

LSJ
LSJ

If you are sane and live in California, flee now! Get away before the crazies and libtards destroy you.

Krsmith2
Krsmith2

Only in Commiefornia..

No. 26-35
usdefender1776
usdefender1776

California continues to sink deeper and deeper into LA LA Land. Fantasy Land can only last so long. The state will crumble in due time.

chiefd
chiefd

I am glad I retired. This is such bull crap about these so called "shoot too many times" verdicts. We were all taught to take out the threat, whatever it took.

smitty195
smitty195

I miss police work so much. But more and more stories like this make me glad that Im retired. Im at a loss for words on this one. The Los Banos officer did it by the book. Or I should say, thats what it sounds like. So even if you do your job right AND you go home alive and well at the end of your shift, youve still done something wrong, according to this jury? What the .....??!!

Aust1n
Aust1n

Stories like this just burn me up. Put me on that jury, not a single penny will be awarded.

IggyRu
IggyRu

Holy shit! California jurors and courts are all anti cop!