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. “All guns owners must have liability insurance..

    All of them, including police.

    Because the police are involved in more questionable shootings than ever, it would be recommendable that their liability insurance start somewhere in the ten million dollar range.
    This insurance would be in addition to whatever the city or county already has.” (Bud)

    =================================================

    There goes Bud, being all practical and making sense again 🙂

  2. eniobob,

    She’s posted a few times in the last couple of days … she’s very busy at work and at home … she told us she’d be absent for awhile with little time to post …

  3. Blouise:

    I have seen the after results.It was like a mini hurricane went through this apartment building***every*** door in the building had been kicked in.

  4. eniobob
    1, January 19, 2011 at 10:22 am
    ‘”She wrote that the prospect of years of legal wrangling, even if the family prevailed at trial, had convinced them to end the case.”

    Sad.

    ================================================

    … but understandable

    Have you ever watched a Swat team getting ready to go into action? I have. It’s like a football team getting ready to take the field. Way too much adrenalin flowing …

    “Adrenaline is a hormone produced by the adrenal gland. When it is produced in the body it stimulates the heart-rate, dilates blood vessels and air passages, and has a number of more minor effects. Adrenaline is naturally produced in high-stress or physically exhilarating situations.

    The term “fight or flight” is often used to characterize the circumstances under which adrenaline is released into the body.”

  5. Rafflaw,

    I mentioned this on the thread dealing with banning automatic weapons, and I’ll restate it.

    All guns owners must have liability insurance..

    All of them, including police.

    Because the police are involved in more questionable shootings than ever, it would be recommendable that their liability insurance start somewhere in the ten million dollar range.
    This insurance would be in addition to whatever the city or county already has.

  6. I am so sorry for their loss, but lucky for them they got compensation. How many unarmed black men have been shot and killed and the families received not even an apology.

  7. My condolences to the family and their loss. The reason cities that are large enough to have them are using them is to ensure that they are well versed in their skills and you don’t get any better training than actual live fire and movement to contact to hone those skills during civil disobediance drills. Because regular police won’t be as apt to shoot at friends and neighbors in their communities less they feel a severe backlash. Now swat goons they on the other hand don’t give much of a fck and are not beholden to all that red tape/ laws. Ask any mercenary outfit and they all agree that it’s not always about the $$$ it’s about the high from and adrenilin surge, and also they can kill about anybody and the courts and the judges don’t really think anything is wrong with this because when it comes down to the wire they will have at least a bunch of well trained body gurds when the SHTF.

  8. Given the increasing frequency of police ending up with dead suspects for non capitol crimes, perhaps a list of approved weregild payments should be determined so that people may know their worth in our new police state.

  9. michaelb,
    That is a very good question. Why was a SWAT team called for a non-violent allegation? This is a very sad case and Fairfax County (or their insurance company) is shelling out some large dollars to make this incident all go away. They are lucky it wasn’t my friend or relative, because no amount of money would make me stop the process. The only way government police authorities will ever change is if they are hit in the pocketbook and the public is shown what crimes they have committed in an open court.

  10. Who said the value of a human life cannot be appraised.

    Hey, that would create jobs … a whole new industry … human life appraisals.

    ???

  11. Where’s the “dropper” weapon that would prove that Culosi was an armed threat, justifying the shooting? What kind of cops do we have any more, who don’t know this simple, elemental rule of police work?

  12. ‘”She wrote that the prospect of years of legal wrangling, even if the family prevailed at trial, had convinced them to end the case.”

    Sad.

  13. This govt. sees its own people as an enemy. It is militarizing our civilian police force. It is also literally militarizing against us as citizens: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/01/lockheed-gets-big-bucks-to-prep-soldiers-in-urban-war/#more-38932

    We can’t ignore what is happening. As social programs are cut to the bone, spending on activities that militarize authorities against our people receive additional funding. This tells us where the govt.’s priorities lie and informs of us of their plans/contempt for we the people. Life means nothing to people like this. It is all about money and power, control and authority.

  14. Hold it here?????……..SWAT team guy, well trained in the use of fire arms, supposedly the best of the best………..it was an accident that the car door bumped him fatally shooting the guy?? So who’s zoomin who here eh, 2 million, lets pay it out and all hush up now eh……………ever heard of a ” safety ” on guns as they do have em…………….

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