Retrial Begins in Wrongful Death Claim

By: Lisa Ferrari
By: Lisa Ferrari

Albemarle County Police were once cleared of any wrong doing in this case, but once again are defending themselves against a wrongful death claim.

A jury began hearing witness testimony Monday afternoon in the wrongful death lawsuit of a Nelson County man fatally shot by police nearly a decade ago.

The father of Frederick Gray is asking for $6,000,000 in compensation. He says it’s for Gray's two young children, age 9 and 10.

Gray's father testified at the retrial in Charlottesville Circuit Court Monday. He said his son was never violent and had no alcohol or drugs in his system when he was killed. His attorney said police officers had no reason to shoot Gray twice during a struggle at his Squire Hill apartment in 1997.

Defense attorneys for five county police officers say Gray violently resisted arrest and had taken three officers to the ground before police had no choice but to use deadly force.

Three years ago, a jury cleared the officers of any wrong doing. The case is being retried after a Supreme Court ruling that will allow the officers prior statements admitted at this trial.

The trial is expected to last four days.

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