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April 4, 2014 — Boca Raton

Deputies responded to a call from Matthew Pollow, a man diagnosed as bipolar and schizophrenic.

He said that he had taken drugs, had a knife and was being chased by people.

According to authorities, when deputies arrived at about 9:30 p.m., Pollow was in the apartment complex parking lot. Read more

Deputy Evan Rosenthal asked him to empty his pockets. Pollow complied but then picked up a screwdriver and advanced toward Rosenthal, who eventually fired five times.

He struck Pollow four times: once in the neck and three times in the back.

Deputy Rosenthal was cleared by the state attorney's office in 2015. The same year, Jean Pavlov, who was sitting in a nearby car, filed a lawsuit on behalf of her son for wrongful death.

The suit claims that Matthew Pollow telephoned 911 to ask to be committed for mental observation under the Baker Act. The suit claims that he did not have anything in his pockets.

A witnessing deputy also said that Pollow did not raise the screwdriver above his head.

In January 2016, the Sheriff's Office settled the suit for $562,500, the highest amount it ever paid out in a shooting.

This was the 30th police shooting in Florida in 2014.

Six days earlier, one officer shot one person in Boca Raton .

Three days later, one officer shot one person in Jacksonville .

7 ways this case compares to others

  1. Evidence in this case, and accounts given by officers and witnesses, included conflicting details. That was true for 27 other cases.
  2. Pollow did not immediately comply with police instruction, a factor in nearly a quarter of shootings.
  3. Pollow was shot after friends, family, or others called the police to ask for help in getting Pollow emergency mental health services. That’s a factor in 6 percent of cases.
  4. Pollow was one of 36 people shot in the back by police.
  5. Pollow was armed with a blade/stabbing implement. Only 80 other people were armed the same way.
  6. A civil lawsuit was filed in response to Pollow's shooting. Ninety other cases led to lawsuits.
  7. Pollow showed signs of mental instability. Almost a third of all shootings involved someone who appeared mentally unstable.

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