Sammy Galvan, 22, was shot eight times before he had a chance to comply with the officers' commands, posing no threat as he leaped out of bed and grabbed a knife to protect himself from intruders. The Galvan family's attorney is seeking $3 million for Galvan's parents and points out that Galvan's wounds show that he could not have been taking aim.
Twelve jurors will decide after they hear from all involved when the wrongful death case comes to trial today in U.S. District Court in Fresno. An attorney representing the Galvans said a trial is the only way to get justice for a young man who died at police hands but committed no crime.
"These cases are hard," said Oakland-based attorney Walter Riley, who declined to discuss the case in detail. "But they have to be tried sometimes."
Senior Deputy City Attorney James Wilson, who represents the officers, could not be reached for comment.