Family of Man Killed For Playing With Hose Nozzle Got $6.5 Million

Posted on: December 3rd, 2013 11 Comments
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A fatal police mistake in 2010 left the Zerby family without their beloved father and son. Three years later, an unanimous verdict awarded $6.5 million to the family of the deceased Douglas Zerby, shot to death by two police officers.

The tragic incident took place in Long Beach, California, on December 12, 2010. The 35-year-old Douglas Zerby was sitting on his friend’s porch landing, playing with the nozzle of a watering hose that resembled a gun. He was intoxicated and kept pointing the nozzle in different directions which caught the attention of one of the neighbors who dialed 911. Within minutes, Zerby was ambushed by two cops who hid at two different positions nearby.

They never announced their presence or made any visual or verbal contact with Zerby. While playing with the nozzle, Zerby pointed at the direction where one of the cops was hidden, not knowing he was there. This caused both cops to shoot at Zerby, killing him on the spot.

His sister, Eden Marie Biele, was outraged by the way the police handled the situation.
“He never knew there was a problem. Police snuck down the corridor and shot him. He was killed in cold blood. He was a drunk sitting on a stoop fumbling with a hose nozzle.”


Zerby’s family got around one third of the money they asked for. His mother Pam Amici got $1 million, his father Mark got $2 million and his 10-year-old son River was awarded $3.5 million. None of the two officers guilty for Zerby’s death were dismissed and they never faced criminal prosecution.

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11 Responses

  1. connie says:

    I Am pleased that this family has received some financial retribution for there loss. However instead of the taxpayers paying yet again for the actions of rogue civil servants, these officers should be held accountable personally. In this case the charge should have been murder and the consequences should be very stiff , considering their abuse of the position they are intrusted with. Their actions have such an impact on how society perceives law officers. And of course harms the reputation of those who are truly there to protect and serve.

  2. Dustin says:

    They shouldnt get a dime. If the guy did have a gun and shot one or more people then the cops would have been the bad guys for letting it happen, but because they took action and possibly prevented it from happening then there made out to be the bad guys? Thats garbage and this family shouldnt have gotten anything for it.

    • Steven says:

      Dustin, you are an idiot. Did you read the article? The man was AMBUSHED. They did not even announce that they were there. They did not observe from a safe distance with scopes to figure out what was going on. If they had done that there would not have been an issue. Neighbors are too nosy and suspicious as well.

      I do agree that the awards were RIDICULOUS though. Mom and Dad both got awards? WHY? I can see the son getting an award since he needs to be taken care of, but 3.5 million? I am certain this man would not have EVER earned 3.5 bills in his life. Give the kid enough to get raised and through college and then let him be on his own. Juries are stuck in this “I would want this much if it was me.” mode way bad.

    • Bruno says:

      Tragic. Both officers need to be facing murder charges and their department should be under investigation. I’m sure that the family would rather have their loved one alive. So “Dustin”, your comment shows that you are speaking out of ignorance. I bet if it had been one of your relatives who was murdered under the same circumstances, you would be up in arms.

  3. David Becken says:

    Dustin is an idiot, and Steven, you are close to that yourself. Damages are not just for the money the man would have earned in his life, but also for the damage to the child of going through his childhood without his father. No one knows what that relationship would have been, and that is just the point. He was robbed of finding out. The award is also to punish the wrong-doers, but in these cases, that does not happen, because the tax-payers get stuck with the bill. The department has ‘cleared’ the murderers of this man, and defends their actions still. For that alone, the family should receive millions.

  4. Andrea says:

    You’re truly Americans! How is possible that nobody understand that 85% of what we read in this website is because of how easily you guys can buy a gun in a fuckin’ Walmart?!
    I’m Italian, in certain regions, specially in the south, weapons are also very numerous… …but not so common, at least among the ‘not-mafia-related’ people!
    Btw, in the most of Italy there are no cops ready to shoot you so easily because they are not afraid, they don’t feel citizens as a treat… ‘Cause citizens have no guns, usually!
    Solutions to this kind of problem is very easy, and is to ban the weapons.

    Sorry for my English and have a good life.

  5. PMT says:

    The officers LIED. Yet, no consequences for inadvertent discharge of a weapon, and for lying to police, internal affairs, and the DA. A man is dead and they go back to work suffering no discipline. That is pathetic.

  6. Obviously Justin is a NAZI Pig cop himself.These two MURDERERS SHOULD BE SERVING LIFE without parole’Why are cops Above the law now days? If it was 1950 0r the 60s or 70s they would be charged with Murder in most cases.But somehow TODAY they are always found innocent of any CRIME. WAKE UP AMERICA

  7. I guess it will take one of your loved ones DEATH by a nazi cop who wrongfully shot him to wake you up. I truly feel sorry for your stupid MORONS

  8. DOESN’T ” ONE OF OURS” tell you anything? The nazi’s had the same attitude’The cops in America are a CLUB OR A GANG of THUGS with Badges. You better PRAY you and yours are not their next VICTIM.

  9. FYI I AM 71 years old and not some young thug looking for a reason to bad mouth the cops.

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