A jury has awarded $1.1 million to a Palmdale teenager who, while holding a toy gun, was shot in the back by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy.
Deputy Scott Sorrow used excessive force when he shot William Fetters in Palmdale on May 10, 2009, a jury found Wednesday. Fetters was 15 at the time of the shooting.
“He’s had a lot of emotional distress being the victim of a wrongful shooting,” said Fetters’ attorney, Bradley Gage. “He’s thankful that he has a chance to let the healing process begin. He’s hopeful that the verdict will send a message to the Sheriff’s Department that it needs to protect the community better.”
Fetters is fully recovered from his physical injuries and is finishing high school, Gage said.
Fetters was on his bicycle playing with other children when Sorrow and his partner, Andrew Campbell, approached in a patrol car. According to Gage, the boy complied with a command to drop his weapon, but Sorrow shot him anyway.