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The findings of an internal investigation stemming from a police shooting back in 2018 were recently released. According to The News & Advance, two former Lynchburg, VA police officers were found to be in violation of multiple department policies when they shot Walker Sigler at his home on Link Road. Officers were investigating an open front door which was deemed suspicious when they awoke Sigler.
When officers Edward Ferron and Savannah Simmons encountered Sigler, they mistook him for an attacker and fired their weapons. Sigler suffered a shattered right femur as well as permanent vision loss in his left eye as a result of losing a significant amount of blood. He also had to undergo multiple surgeries.
The two officers were indicted after the shooting but did not have to serve jail time as both plead no contest to misdemeanor reckless handling of a firearm, says the news source. The officers later resigned from the force. Sigler, given the injuries he suffered, filed a $12 million lawsuit against Ferron and Simmons and it wasn’t until 2019 that a settlement was reached, although the amount that was agreed upon was not disclosed.
The department later launched an internal investigation and found that both officers had been in violation of more than one policy when the incident occurred. Chief Ryan Zuidema announced this during a news conference that was held sometime in January but did not disclose which policies the officers violated. He did, however, say that “These are personnel matters involving our officers and former officers in this case, and they have a certain right under the law to certain things not being released.”
Zuidema also acknowledged that what transpired that morning on February 17, 2018 was “an anomaly for the Lynchburg Police Department, not our standard, and as always, we strive to ensure [you that our] police department is among the most highly trained agencies in the commonwealth. We absolutely recognize that we could have done better in this situation.”
The news source highlighted that as a result of the investigation, police are now required to follow stricter policies that govern when they can enter into a building where a crime is said to have occurred.
Are you a victim of police misconduct? Do you live in Richmond, VA?
If a Richmond officer applied excessive force which resulted in you suffering injuries, there are police brutality lawyers in Richmond, VA ready and available to help you. To find out what you need to do to recognize an officer(s) for their act of misconduct, contact Burnett & Williams at 800-969-1650.