The family of Philip Oliver, who was shot and killed by a Galt police officer, have filed a claim with the city, which is the first step toward a lawsuit.
Oliver, 28, was killed on June 3 after police said he was assaulting his mother and carrying a knife. He also threatened to kill the officers, said Lt. James Uptegrove, of the Galt Police Department, after the incident.
The shooting is believed to be the first time in the city’s history a police officer has killed someone in the line of duty, he said.
Oliver’s parents, William Farren and Karen Oliver-Farren, filed the wrongful death claim on July 14 and are asking for $25 million.
Galt’s city manager said he expected the city to receive a claim in the aftermath of the shooting, but not this quickly.
“The filing is premature,” said Jason Behrmann. “The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department hasn’t finished its investigation into the shooting.”
After every officer-involved shooting, the county Sheriff’s Department evaluates the shooting and determines if it is warranted or not. If the shooting is deemed unjustified or unwarranted, the district attorney could prosecute the officer, said Marv Stern, assistant chief deputy district attorney for Sacramento County.
The officer who shot Oliver has been placed on administrative leave while an investigation into the shooting is conducted, and will not return to duty until it is completed, Behrmann said. Investigations typically take four to six months, but every case is unique, Stern said.
The next step is for the city of Galt to have its insurance company look at the claim and decide if it will accept or reject it, Behrmann said. The decision on the claim will not be made until the investigation is finalized, Behrmann said. If the city rejects the claim, the Olivers can proceed with filing a lawsuit.
While the family had to file its claim against the city within six months of the incident, the city does not have a timeline on when it needs to respond to the claim, Behrmann said.
The shooting took place when police responded to the 100 block of Franston Street around 5:20 p.m. on June 3.
The victim stood outside the residence and said he had weapons inside when officers arrived, police said. He then threatened to kill them, authorities said.
Oliver, according to police, then ran into the home. Officers heard a loud bang before one opened fire on Oliver, Uptegrove said after the shooting.
In the claim, Oliver’s parents said their son was not a threat to the police officer who shot him, and there was no reason to use deadly force.
“The city of Galt inadequately trained, disciplined, supervised and employed this officer,” the claim states.
Calls to the police department and the family’s lawyer late Monday afternoon were not immediately returned.