I recently came across a news item that made me think, “what?!” It’s about the shooting death of a woman here in Northern California who was fatally shot after police mistook her crochet hook for an ice pick. Again – what?!
Maria Irma Dela Torre had policed called on her after she locked herself in her sister’s minivan. The circumstances are a bit confusing as she was apparently experiencing some sort of disorientation at the time. For example, she was trying to start the van with a penny.
The police ordered the woman to exit the van and warned her that she was going to be hit with a taser. She did exit the van but she did so wielding a metal crochet hook. Apparently she lunged towards the officers on the scene with her crochet hook.
It was at this time that she was shot. In fact, she was shot twice in the back and was also hit by the taser at the same time. She died on the scene. The officers swore under oath that they mistakenly believed the crochet hook was an ice pick or perhaps a knife and that was why they shot the woman.
The City of Salinas was sued by the woman’s mother as well as her husband for her wrongful death. They have settled out of court for a total sum exceeding $2 million.