Photos by Phoenix Police Officer Paul Rutherford.
A woman who was charged with the murder of Phoenix police officer Paul Rutherford has filed a $7.25 million notice of claim against the city, saying the department left important facts out to a Maricopa County grand jury Due to which he was charged with negligent homicide.
Police said at the time that Rutherford was investigating a vehicle collision on March 21, 2019, before he responded to a priority radio call on the road.
Rutherford was crossing Indian School Road on foot when he was struck by Nubia Rodriguez, who was driving a 2015 Ford Expedition. Rutherford was taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition, where he was later pronounced dead.
A grand jury indicted Rodriguez on charges of negligent homicide on August 20, 2020, although Maricopa Superior Court Judge Joseph Kramer dismissed the case on September 22, 2022, after evidence showed that Rutherford, who was driving a traffic He was crossing four lanes, “appearing in a place where he shouldn’t have been” when he was struck, according to Kramer.
Rodriguez’s suit claims that the Phoenix police made false statements to the grand jury, as if Rutherford had the authority to receive an indictment instead of Rodriguez. It states that while Rutherford’s death was tragic, it was also avoidable on his part if he had used the crosswalk or his own vehicle with the siren on.
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The claim also cites the police department’s own crash analysis, and that the officers did not share the conclusion that the collision could have been avoided before Rutherford crossed the street, and that Rodriguez and Rutherford’s view of each other was inconsistent with the incident. was interrupted before. ,
“Despite its crash analysis, the Phoenix Police Department will not acknowledge that Officer Rutherford’s decisions and actions caused his death,” the claim states. “Instead, the Phoenix Police Department made Nubia public enemy number one. It made her a scapegoat for the death of Officer Rutherford, doing nothing less than to ensure that she was convicted of murder.
The claim also claims that the criminal case caused Rodriguez “unimaginable harm”, including the loss of his foster daughter, who Rodriguez had intended to adopt before being taken into custody by state authorities. The claim says Rodriguez lost job opportunities and cashed in on his criminal defense.
“While Nubia’s economic loss is recognisable, the pain and suffering of the loss of her foster daughter and the Phoenix Police Department’s years of lies and omissions are immeasurable,” the claim reads. “If this matter progresses through litigation, Nubia will be entitled to recover punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.”
The claim states that Rodriguez is willing to settle the complaint for $7.25 million.
Dan Wilson, a spokesman for Phoenix, declined to comment, citing pending litigation.
This article originally appeared on The Arizona Republic: Woman charged with killing Phoenix police officer claims $7.25M