$20 Million Lawsuit Filed Against LPD for Officer-Involved Shooting

LUBBOCK, TX - A federal civil rights lawsuit was filed Wednesday against Lubbock Police for allegations of excessive force.  A document filed with the lawsuit said the demand is for $20 million. 

The lawsuit said officer Billy Mitchell confronted Paul Anthony Valderas, 31, of Lubbock on January 26.  Valderas was the subject of multiple narcotics investigations.  A police report listed the location as the 3300 block of Grinnell Street and Valderas had been spotted at a nearby convenience store.  Officers set up a perimeter and decided to move in.  

The report said Valderas “produced a handgun and was shot by one of the investigators.”

The lawsuit paints a different picture.  

 “Surveillance video from a nearby home later emerged,” the lawsuit said.  “The audio and video showed Mitchell did not properly identify himself as a police officer.”

The lawsuit said Valderas had been armed but disarmed himself prior to the shooting.

It said, “When Mr. Valderas realized Mitchell was a cop, Mr. Valderas very clearly disarmed himself by placing the gun in a nearby vehicle—inaccessible to his person.”

“Yet, Mitchell still shot and continued shooting without giving a single command,” it said. 

Valderas is now permanently paralyzed from the chest down.  The lawsuit said five shots were fired, three of them hit Valderas. 

But the lawsuit takes it a step further and accuses the officer of lying about the shooting:  

“It is apparent Mitchell knew the shooting was unjustified, so he lied. But more
importantly, Mitchell’s fellow officers did not support his lie. By holding Mitchell accountable, we protect, validate, and encourage honest police, like Mitchell’s fellow officers, to continue resisting the fraternal pressure to place departmental interests over truth.”

A video released by Valderas’ legal team indicates that an officer yelled “Police!” a fraction of a second before the first shot was heard.  

As of Thursday, Valderas was out of jail on bond.  He was charged with felon in possession of a firearm for the January 26 incident. 

EverythingLubbock.com invited Lubbock Police to comment.  Police said, “We do not comment on pending litigation.”

CLICK HERE to read the lawsuit.

Related Story: Name of Suspect in Police Shooting Revealed by Police Report

The law firm’s video is embedded here. (App users might need to CLICK HERE.)


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