A lawsuit has been filed against multiple police officers and police departments for the fatal shooting of a truck driver in mental crisis.
The driver, 39-year-old Glen Cockrum, was killed in Nogales, Arizona last year. Now, his mother, Cora Waller, wants the officers involved to take responsibility for what she sees as an excessive reaction. The lawsuit was filed against eight Nogales police officers, one Santa Cruz sheriff’s deputy, the Nogales Police Department, and Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department
According to KOLD News 13, on the day of the shooting, Cockrum finished delivering a load of produce in Phoenix and headed to Rio Rico to pick up another load. Cockrum, who was known to have issues with bipolar and schizophrenia, apparently ended up at the wrong warehouse, and was approached by employees at the warehouse after parking his truck. After a conversation between the employee and Cockrum, the employee contacted police.
When police arrived, Cockrum apparently led them on a slow speed chase, and officers eventually fired 122 shots into Cockrum’s truck cab in 90 seconds, killing him. Cockrum never left the cab of his truck from the time police were called until the time he was killed.
“He did not in any way threaten them with the truck or attempt to hit them with the truck,” said attorney Paul Gattone, who filed the suit on behalf of Waller. “Or take any actions that would have justified the use of force.”
“He was bipolar, he had some schizophrenic issues,” Gattone said. “But the ultimate issue is how police handle mental health situations.”
The lawsuit alleges that the Nogales police department has a history of escalating mental health situations. The officers involved have already been exonerated after an investigation found the shooting to be justified. The suit does not specify a dollar amount at this time.
“The question is what’s a human life worth. It’s really hard to put a value on that,” Gattone said. “At this point we have not asked for specific value, the evidence will determine that.”