By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — The family of a man fatally shot by a drunken, off-duty Philadelphia police officer has been awarded $4.7 million from the shooter, but may get nothing since a jury let the city off the hook.
Jurors found police officials had shown “deliberate indifference” to complaints about Officer Frank Tepper.
But they say that indifference did not cause the 2009 death of 21-year-old William “Billy” Panas Jr.
The victim’s family says police had nearly three dozen complaints against Tepper before he killed Panas during a scuffle outside a baby shower.
“Totally shocked. We really thought the city was responsible but the jurors thought otherwise. So we have to go by what the jurors thought. Now we could put it to end,” said the victim’s mother, Karen Panas.
Tepper is serving life in prison for the murder, and did not appear in court to defend the case. It’s not clear if he has any assets or insurance.
City attorneys had argued they weren’t responsible for the officer acting like a “drunken idiot.”
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