DPS & State of Arizona Sued by Georgianni’s for Shooting Death of Van Operator

April 27, 2010


On April 16, the surviving spouse and beneficiaries of Douglas Georgianni filed suit in Superior Court seeking unspecified damages in the shooting death of Douglas Georgianni. Douglas was shot almost a year earlier by Thomas Destories while working for Redflex in a DPS-marked photo radar van.

The lawsuit alleges that a major contributing factor to be the DPS markings on the side of the Redflex owned and operated talivan. This gives the public the impression that the occupants are peace officers and that the vehicle is owned and operated by a police agency. When a police vehicle is driven by a civilian, it is supposed be clearly marked as such, typically with the words “Not in Service.” If this practice is not followed, it is considered to be a violation of ARS 13-2411, impersonating a peace officer. DPS is alleged to be negligent because they knowingly put civilian contractors in harm’s way by making them impersonate a peace officer as a regular part of their job. While contractors no longer occupy the talivans while parked on the highways (because of the shooting), civilian contractors are still driving and moving the DPS-marked vehicles.

Another major point in the lawsuit is the allegation that DPS knowingly put civilian contractors in harm’s way because they were aware of or should have been aware of attacks on photo radar van operators but did nothing to protect them. PhotoRadarScam.com had reported on several speed van attacks that occured before the shooting, so law enforcement and Redflex should have been fully aware of the propensity for the public to act out against these vehicles, not just locally but world-wide:


Thanks to Janet Napalitano, DPS, and photo radar, the state is now looking at what is likely to be a multi-million dollar judgement at a time when the state can least afford it.


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