PORTLAND, Ore. – The mother of a Tigard teenager shot and killed by deputies won her lawsuit against the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the two deputies who opened fire.
A jury in federal court awarded Hope Glenn $2.5 million in the wrongful death suit of her son Lukus Glenn.
Lukus Glenn was shot and killed by deputies in 2006 after his mother had called 9-1-1 to report she feared for her son’s safety and the safety of others around him.
Lukus, 18, was armed with a knife at the time. The deputies reportedly told him to drop the knife before firing.
He was hit with six beanbag rounds as Washington County Sheriff’s deputies fired their service weapons, hitting him eight times, when they said he refused to surrender.
The deputies fired the beanbags and the live rounds in a span of just eight seconds. Hope Glenn has always contended the deputies acted too quickly in shooting and killing her son.
"I'm hoping that nobody else has to go through what we went through and other kids won't be shot," she said after the jury's decision.
On Thursday in a federal courtroom, a jury said they agreed that the sheriff’s office should be held accountable.
The jury said that the two deputies and former sheriff Rob Gordon were responsible for the wrongful death.
Sgt. Bob Ray, a spokesman for the sheriff's office, said they the department has not yet decided if they will appeal the decision.
"This has been a very difficult ordeal for the family of Lukus Glenn and for our deputies and their families," he said in a statement.
The deputies were previously cleared of any criminal charges.
When asked whether there was any intention of changing policy or training within the Washington County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Pat Garrett said, "You know that is an ongoing process that we take very seriously with an administrative review, with an annual training that we provide every year. So that's not something that would be new for us. That is an ongoing part of the evolution of our organization."
It's not clear if Washington County will appeal the decision.
The decision by the seven-member jury comes after a long legal journey for Hope. It included a judgment against her by a federal judge, which was later overturned by an appeals court.
Carrie Carpenter was among the jurors in Thursday's decision.
"I really feel like we came to the best decision, the right decision. It's very upsetting. It's a hard thing to do," she said. "I just hope they (the police) learn something from it. I think all of us as jurors believe that, we hope, we all said that, we hope that everybody learns something from this, not just the police."
The decision is historic not only for the rarity of a jury ruling against a law enforcement agency but also for the $2.5 million it decided to award Hope in this wrongful death suit.
Outside the courthouse, Hope and Brad Glenn hugged their supporters, including a couple of Lukus' friends who were there the night of the shooting and witnessed it.