James Davies, cop killed by friendly fire: Lawsuit claims death was preventable

james.davies.facebook.cropped.JPG
James Davies. Photos, video and more below.
In November 2012, we told you about the friendly fire death of James Davies, a Lakewood police officer, during the investigation of what turned out to be a rather minor incident. The following January, First Judicial District DA Peter Weir determined that no criminal charges would be pressed in Davies's death.

That's not the final word, however. Tami Davies, James's widow, has reportedly filed a lawsuit over the incident, claiming that the tragedy was the "inevitable conclusion to a series of preventable acts and omissions."

As we reported last year, the main events of the night were laid out in a portion of a Weir decision letter addressed to Lakewood Police Chief Kevin Paletta and labeled "Relevant Facts."

On November 8, the document notes, Davies and another agent assigned to the department's Special Enforcement Team had volunteered to work overtime and were assigned to a late shift.

Early the following morning, the pair received a call to the area of Ingalls and 20th Avenue involving a loud party. They parked their car in the vicinity, but as they were walking, they heard gunshots in an area south of them and headed that way, along with a slew of others from the department, prompted by numerous calls from concerned residents.

james davies shooting scene screen capture 2.jpg
At the scene.
Officers fanned out in search of the shooter, and before long, a sergeant spotted a figure outside a house at 1940 Eaton, followed by a muzzle flash. She responded by pressing herself against a tree, while other officers in the vicinity sought cover.

Davies and the officer with him were a few buildings away and communicated their position via radio. Meanwhile, a SWAT negotiator phoned the house in question, and after a couple of tries, a woman answered the phone. She insisted that no one there had fired a gun, adding that two people were with her. The negotiator then ordered the trio outside, and as a Denver Police helicopter swooped overhead, they complied and were taken into custody. None of them had a weapon, but ammo was found inside the home.

As Davies and the other officer circled to the back of the house, just in case someone else was inside and tried to flee, agents questioned the three people who'd left the house and learned that several pit bulls were inside. More personnel were called to help clear the dogs -- including Agent Devaney Braley, a SWAT officer team leader.

Dealing with the dogs took some time, and as agents tackled that task, another complication cropped up -- the arrival of a man named Joe Ruiz, who was allegedly drunk. He yelled at the agents in front of the house, "challenging their authority to be in his home," the letter says.

In the midst of this confusion, Braley, inside the house, was told the backyard hadn't been cleared yet. He was at the backdoor when he thought he heard voices.

What happened next?

Continue for more about the filing of a lawsuit in regard to the James Davies shooting, including more photos, video and an original document.


My Voice Nation Help
21 comments
Jayson Degroot
Jayson Degroot

Society has made the streets a war zone. This is one of the spoils of war. Lakewood PD shouldn't have to pay.

Bryan Moberg
Bryan Moberg

Of course not, these things happen, part of carrying a gun for a living

Erik Johnsen
Erik Johnsen

This is why I like it here better than chicago. In Chicago, this wouldn't even be a question, she'd be a millionaire automatically, because there is zero personal accountability or responsibility, it's always someone else's fault for everything. * no comment on what is right, I just like that it is a question.

Nathan Hansen
Nathan Hansen

No life insurance? Oh wait, my taxes will pay for that.

John Jones
John Jones

The shooter violated NRA safety rules, always make sure of your target, never put your finger on the trigger until you're ready to shoot, make sure the background behind your target is clear! There's no such thing as an accident with a firearm! Please teacher children the right way!

KarmaRules
KarmaRules

Well, at least the trigger happy cop didn't kill another unarmed civilian, although I am sure the bullets that riddled the apartments across the street could have easily killed a child sleeping in their bed.... Maybe these psychopaths will review their 'shoot first' policy now that one of their own was killed....Karma is a bitch... :)

Soña Vigil
Soña Vigil

So why don't they show a picture of the officer who shot the other officer instead of a picture of the guy who owned the house . The shooter does need to be held accountable.

Grier Slitzer
Grier Slitzer

if you are trained to run a forklift and something heavy falls and crushes you what is the difference. families in either incident deserve compensation, just because one does not like police officers does not justify denying a child or wife/mother from what they are entitled to.

Isaac Loya
Isaac Loya

Some cops are so fuckn trigger happy that they take out their own these days! He was in uniform too SMH...

Branden Major
Branden Major

Compensate the lady. .. and get guns off the streets. .. the military is the only people that need these guns. . Until we clear the streets. .. PAY THE DAMN LADY. .. she shouldn't have to do all of this! Gosh. .. Americans need to wise up already. ..

Michael Metzger
Michael Metzger

N if I remember he was shot directly in the head from just the other side of the fence. How do you not know where your backup is??

Michelle MyBell
Michelle MyBell

It is the risk that they take when one puts on that badge. That being said, when this goes to court it will be up to the jury or judge to decide this.

Michael Metzger
Michael Metzger

This happened 2 years ago?? Why did she wait so long??

Ruby Contreras Nugent
Ruby Contreras Nugent

I don't think the PD should have to pay. Like Tyler says, it was an accident - not negligence. I find it hard to believe police officers were acting recklessly when they approached the suspect. That is a pretty unfair deduction.

Vincent Lee Gagliardi
Vincent Lee Gagliardi

Lack of communication that cost that officer his life. The shooter needs to be held accountable no one else. Cut the bullshit.

Joshua Oyler
Joshua Oyler

Yup they sure should since it was negligence clearly

Tyrel Becker
Tyrel Becker

That's the risk they take when they put that badge on. It'll be the taxpayers that foot the bill not the department or the individual officer.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Finally the Gods of Karma have visited these homicidal cowardly trigger-happy cops.

KarmaRules
KarmaRules

The Constitution guarantees that the state shall NEVER hold a monopoly on violence. This is to protect the population from people like you who are begging to be abused. Because you are useless as a citizen......

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...