Attorney Jeff Storms mingled with attendees at the ‘angelversary’ gathering marking one year since a then-Brooklyn Center police officer shot and killed 19-year-old Daunte Wright during a routine traffic stop along this intersection. Storms, the attorney representing the Wright family, was one of many people who set a candle at the memorial in honor and remembrance of yet another Black man killed by a police officer.
Still, Storms believes too many entities remain resistant to agreeing to nonmonetary terms out of a misguided and shortsighted fear that places an emphasis on protection in future litigation rather than making meaningful change that protects future victims. Even when such agreements are reached, Storms has concerns about entities truly implementing the changes they agree to make. The Smith case is a tragic example of that. Smith died by homicide in 2010 while restrained in a prone position on a YMCA basketball court by two
Minneapolis police officers. Aside from the monetary payout, the settlement included an agreement that the city’s police officers would receive additional safety training discussing the deadly risks associated with positional asphyxia. Yet, Floyd was murdered only 10 years later through the use of a similar prone restraint. “David’s death was supposed to prevent George’s death from happening,” Storms said. “It obviously did not. The city failed – in historic proportions – to meaningfully fulfill its promise to the Smith family.”
Storms and his partners at Newmark Storms Dworak, the firm he has helped build since 2015, have an increasing presence in high- profile civil rights cases. His firm also focuses on protecting the rights of individuals through its criminal defense and personal injury practices.
Highly sought after, Storms partnered again with Crump
and Romanucci on a third police misconduct case, this one involving Amir Locke, a Black man fatally shot in February 2022 by Minneapolis police entering a residence with a no-knock search warrant.
Summer 2022 Page 15
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