Friday, October 31, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting: Earlier this week we featured the story of Steven Buckley, the construction worker shot in the head by a senior police officer during a vehicle stop on Kraal Road in April of 2010.
The officer, 46 year old Inspector of Police Dennis Lopez, faces charges of attempted murder and grievous harm of Buckley, aggravated assault of two companions Marlon Myers and Alfonso Juarez and dangerous harm.
Buckley, along with three other companions, was traveling in a vehicle belonging to his employer when they were pulled over by police on mobile patrol.
What should have been a routine stop and search ended with Buckley’s shooting and the Police Department coming under increasing criticism for use of excessive force.
Now Buckley is seeking recompense, having already received $100,000 from the Government.
Today we spoke with his attorney, Richard ‘Dickie’ Bradley, about the progress of the negotiations. But Bradley revealed that those are on hold pending the outcome of the criminal trial, although according to Bradley, while the case’s determination will help the civil settlement along, it is not final in that regard.
There is no issue as to whether Lopez shot Buckley, but his justification, if any, for doing so is yet to be settled.
A positive outcome makes the case for compensation easier because it established liability on Lopez and the Government; if he is found not guilty, things get tougher.
Nonetheless, Bradley says Buckley retains the ability to file suit at the Supreme Court if not satisfied with the determination in the criminal trial in respect of his civil rights being violated.
Also, Buckley wants his own day in court as a witness in the case.
The case has been put off until next January to allow time for Lopez’s attorney, Senior Counsel Simeon Sampson, to prepare.
Meanwhile we understand that Buckley is currently on remand at the Central Prison on order of the Family Court for owing child maintenance, only a part of his ongoing struggle to maintain a living.
© 2014, BreakingBelizeNews.com. This article is the copyrighted property of Breaking Belize News. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.