The family of a woman fatally shot by two Madison police officers has been awarded $7 million in damages, after a federal jury found the officers used unreasonable force.
The two officers shot 26-year-old Ashley DiPiazza in 2014, after responding to a call to her apartment that said she had been drinking and had a gun. When officers entered her apartment, she came out of a bedroom holding a gun to her head. She was eventually shot after the officers said DiPiazza ignored multiple commands to drop the weapon.
Both officers, Justin Bailey and Gary Pihlaja, were cleared from having any criminal liability in her death.
In a statement, Madison City Attorney Michael May said he was “extremely disappointed” by the verdict. “All of our analyses, both by our internal and outside experts, concluded that the officers acted within the legal standards for use of force. The jury found otherwise,” he said.
May said the damages are covered by the city’s insurance policy, and Madison officials plans to meet with their legal counsel to determine the next steps, including whether they plan to appeal.