Tyler Rambo, whose legs were amputated after he was shot by police at a July 4 celebration downtown, wants more than $9 million in damages from the City of Coeur d’Alene.
In a tort claim filed with the city, the 18-year-old who was shot 14 times by Coeur d’Alene officers accused the city and its police department of inadequately supervising, training and ensuring the competency of its officers. The claim asserts police used inappropriate and unlawful deadly and excessive force.
Rambo was shot after he allegedly pointed a gun at police in downtown Coeur d’Alene moments after he reportedly attempted to shoot another man, Jawaun Anderson of Spokane, in an altercation at Independence Point.
Prosecutors charged Rambo with one count of attempted second-degree murder and one count of aggravated assault.
Rambo attorney Rick Baughman, who filed the tort claim, said Rambo was shot with his hands in the air.
According to the claim, Rambo was confronted by police after leaving the scene of a fistfight with Anderson in which Rambo allegedly shot at Anderson.
Rambo obeyed police orders to raise his hands, but the loss of muscle control after a police Taser struck Rambo resulted in the discharge of Rambo’s .357 revolver, Baughman alleged. He said the Taser’s deployment was not announced and the gun was involuntarily fired.
“Deployment was unwarranted and unnecessary and contrary to law, policy, public safety and common sense,” the claim said. “The effect of the Taser was a complete seizure of and loss of muscle control.”
Once a shot rang out, “officers proceeded to unleash an unnecessary barrage of gunfire at and into Rambo.”
A tort claim is a notice that another action may be pending in the future.
“It puts us on notice,” City Attorney Mike Gridley said.
The claim has been forwarded to the Idaho Counties Risk Management program, its insurer. The city through the City Council has the option to mediate the claim in an effort to find a resolution or to do nothing.
Rambo, who is being held at the Kootenai County jail in lieu of $1 million bail, also faces two misdemeanor drug charges.
Baughman, a former Kootenai County chief deputy prosecutor, said his client’s medical bills cost $3,000 weekly and will likely continue throughout his life. “He will need assisted living, physical therapy and occupational therapy,” Baughman wrote in the claim.
Rambo also will incur the cost of prosthetics and ambulatory equipment. Baughman said his client wants the matter resolved, but if the case proceeds to court, “he will also be seeking attorney’s fees and costs.”
Rambo was arrested Sept 12. Prosecutors said he was in possession of firearms and marijuana in September when police stopped a car in which he was a passenger. Rambo posted $600 bail but was arrested again the following day on a $250,000 warrant on the second-degree murder charge.
A magistrate set bail at $1 million. The court ordered that in the event bail was paid, Rambo must not come within a mile of the Coeur d’Alene Police Department, could not possess guns and could not use drugs.