A lawyer representing the widow of Oxnard Police SWAT Officer James Rex Jensen Jr. plans to file a federal civil-rights lawsuit today against the department and its top officers asking for $15 million.
Jensen was mistakenly shot and killed by fellow SWAT team member Sgt. Dan Christian in a botched drug raid last March 13. In November, the Ventura County district attorney’s office released a report placing much of the blame for the shooting on Christian’s shoulders.
In an action that had been anticipated, attorney Ed Steinbrecher, representing Jensen’s widow, Jennifer, said he plans to show that the department did a poor job of training its SWAT officers and then tried to cover up its mistakes after the shooting.
Following the report’s release, Jennifer Jensen said it showed that her husband, a five-year veteran of the force who had been part of the SWAT team just seven months, had followed procedures correctly the morning of the shooting.
She said at that time that any lawsuit would be primarily a quest for the truth, which she believes has been concealed by the Oxnard Police Department.
A news conference on the filing is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. today in Steinbrecher’s Encino office.