Local police agree to settle with family in fatal shooting case

2013-11-15T15:00:00Z 2013-11-25T10:13:21Z Local police agree to settle with family in fatal shooting caseThe Times Staff nwitimes.com
November 15, 2013 3:00 pm  • 

HAMMOND | Lake County police have reached a settlement with the family of a Hobart man officers fatally shot in 2009 after responding to a distress call for a suicidal subject, federal court records show.

The family members sued 10 Lake County and Hobart police officers and various county government offices in 2010, claiming police used unlawful force in the July 2009 slaying of Ricardo E. Diaz, 33, of Hobart.

After participating in out-of-court mediation, the county has settled the lawsuit with Ricardo Diaz's widow, Melissa Diaz; Angela Del Rio, the mother of Diaz's child; and Ricardo Diaz's son, Jose Diaz, Hammond federal court records filed Friday state.

County attorneys confirmed a settlement had been reached, but a monetary amount was not yet available Friday afternoon.

The officers, the city of Hobart, the Lake County Sheriff's Department and others have argued the shooting of Ricardo Diaz was "justifiable," court records state.

In June 2009, police were called to Diaz's home in response to a suicidal man, according to Hobart police reports. Diaz was alone in the house that night and upset because of a work-related issue, police said.

Police said after nearly two hours of crisis negotiations, Diaz walked out of the house and pointed a handgun at a Lake County tactical officer. Officers responded by fatally shooting Diaz, police said.

The civil lawsuit claimed police conspired to cover up the facts of the shooting, including giving a false statement to the media.

All defendants denied those allegations.

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