Police Shootings

Estate of David Kersetter v. District of Columbia(Mentally ill man killed in home)
ABC 7 News logo Parents Sue After D.C. Police Shot, Killed Mentally Ill Son. ABC 7 News. 12 May 2009.

Attorney Douglas Sparks is suing on behalf of the parents of the Gulf War veteran. “No mother calls a neighbor to check on her son and expects the next call to be he's dead because police entered his home and shot him,” noted Sparks. He says police should have left him alone until they had mental health counselors on the scene. Sources say the police department has launched a program to work with mental health specialists in the future.

Washington Blade logo Parents sue D.C. Police after gay son killed: Man shot in bedroom of Logan Circle townhouse in 2008. Washington Blade. 12 May 2009.

Douglas Sparks, an attorney representing the family, released a four-page letter Tuesday that he sent May 1 to D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty. “At least eight rounds were fired, and five pierced David’s body . . . the trajectory of the rounds that hit David . . . establishes that the officers fired downward,” Sparks said in the letter.

Fox 5 News logo Family's Questions over Son's Shooting. Fox 5 News. 12 May 2009.

Attorney Douglas Sparks says, “The evidence shows . . . most if not all of the shots were fired while he was on the ground and incapacitated. They did everything exactly the opposite of what they're supposed to do. They didn't call for back up and they didn't call for a mental health specialist. These are salt of the earth, hard working, good people who don't understand why their son is dead. Mother calls neighbor to check on son and next call she gets is he's dead because police killed him in his own home,” said Sparks.

Brian Butler v. District of Columbia(DC Police Shooting)
The Washington Post logo Questionable Cases Costly. Washington Post. 17 November 1998.

“Police officials could not explain why the shooting of [Sparks’ client] was never examined by the weapon review board. The District settled the Superior Court lawsuit.” Read More

The Washington Post logo District Police Lead Nation in Shootings;Lack of Training, Supervision Implicated as Key Factors. Washington Post. 15 November 1998.

“Lawsuits that often follow off-duty police shootings have been costly to District taxpayers . . . In 1995, the District paid [Sparks’ client] to settle a lawsuit over the shooting.”

Police Homicides: Michael Brown and Eric Garner
The Huffington Post logo What The Hell Would It Take To Indict A Cop? Huffington Post. 7 December 2014.

WASHINGTON. The decisions of two grand juries not to indict the police officers responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner have sparked emotional reactions and protests throughout the country. In the latest episode of "Drinking and Talking," Douglas Sparks, a prominent civil attorney,  offered an insider's perspective . . . Listen to the Podcast here.