Fairfax Gives $2 Million To Parents of Unarmed Man Shot and Killed By Swat Officer Outside of His Home

According to the Washington Post, Fairfax County (where I reside) has agreed to pay $2 million to the parents of an unarmed man who was shot by one of its officers five years ago. Optometrist Salvatore J. Culosi, 37, (shown left) was shot by SWAT officer Deval V. Bullock. Bullock insisted that his gun accidentally went off and he was not charged in the killing.

Bullock shot Culosi when he came outside without shoes and unarmed to pay $1500 on a bet. Bullock said he ran over to Culosi, who said to him, “Dude, what are you doing?” He then died.

The settlement occurred shortly before a federal trial in the lawsuit filed by Culosi’s parents.

Many questions have been raised over the shooting, including the use of SWAT officers with guns drawn to arrest a man with no criminal record and only suspected of illegal gambling. Bullock said that his car door bumped him and caused the discharge of his .45-caliber pistol. He was given a three week suspension and removed from the SWAT team.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers, however, insisted that they had evidence that Bullock was not next to his car at the time of the shooting based on forensics from their experts.

Culosi’s mother, Anita, expressed her disappointment in the settlement in a note written to her dead son on her blog: “I beg your forgiveness Son,” Anita Culosi wrote Tuesday night, “because I am not able . . . to go the distance. They call it . . . settlement. I call it something else . . . and because of that . . . my heart . . . is not settled . . . and my hope for justice . . . and my promise to you . . . have both been compromised.” She wrote that the prospect of years of legal wrangling, even if the family prevailed at trial, had convinced them to end the case.”

Source: Washington Post

Jonathan Turley

30 thoughts on “Fairfax Gives $2 Million To Parents of Unarmed Man Shot and Killed By Swat Officer Outside of His Home”

  1. The payout is a good thing imo, but the police really don’t pay the penalties for the police screw-ups, it’s funded totally by taxpayers. The 2mil should be paid by the officer(s) themselves personally, not by the taxpayers.

  2. Is there a difference between accidentally pulling the trigger and accidentally discharge of the weapon? Accidents can happen. Cover ups are not accidents.

  3. Police officers in circumstances such as this should be subject to similar penalties as non-police citizens.

  4. I guess his best defense was he ate too many doughnuts….He was living it…..

  5. Why did the cops have a gun or guns drawn unless there was evidence of violent resistance, and apparently there was none used as defense. Why was his finger on the trigger?

    Since there was a hard enough blow by the door (cough cough, nudge nudge)to cause the cop’s hand to spasm strongly enough to pull the trigger, it is a reasonable to assumption that the blow by the door shifted the direction the gun was pointed so that it accidentally targeted the victim (cough, “” “”)

    So who exactly was the cop aiming the gun at, or was he just waiving it around for the fun of it?

  6. rafflaw
    1, January 19, 2011 at 11:51 am
    That is a very good question. Why was a SWAT team called for a non-violent allegation?

    because they don’t have enough violent crime to keep them busy. starting next week they’ll be delivering summonses and certified mail.
    bet you’ll sign for that letter when somebody is pointing an AR15 at you.

  7. Another example of the never-ending foul-ups documented against the prosecutorial side of law enforcement. How many officers will now have to spend the rest of their lives in prison for this crime like the public would have to do? Likely none, if the pattern plays out as it usually does.

  8. Rafflaw,

    that individual mandate would be unconstitutional! 🙂

    Yeah, so let’s not listen to the Republicans and tea party group.

    Obama listens to these people way to much, and uses their thoughts as an excuse for bipartisanship…

    PHOOOEY.. He’s a damn democrat or at least is supposed to be.

  9. Bud,
    I would love for all gun owners be required to have liability insurance of high amounts, but according to the tea party and the Republicans, that individual mandate would be unconstitutional! 🙂

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