ESCONDIDO, Calif. (CN) - In a botched attempt to nab a car thief, Escondido police shot to death a woman who was working with them as an informant, the woman's mother claims in Federal Court. After "using their authority to solicit and manipulate Jennifer Favreau's assistance in apprehending Christopher Ramirez, who drove the vehicle," Officer Timothy Reiley shot Favreau to death as she sat next to Ramirez in the front seat, her mother says.
Suing on her own behalf and for her daughter's minor child, Janet Favreau says her daughter, Jennifer, had worked with Escondido police on "numerous prior occasions as a CRI." The 15-page complaint does not define CRI, which presumably means confidential reliable informant.
Janet Favreau says Escondido police killed her daughter on Oct. 15, 2009. Jennifer was working with the police when "defendant Reiley negligently, intentionally, recklessly, and with a willful and conscious disregard of the rights or safety of others, discharged his weapon multiple times into a vehicle in which Jennifer Favreau was a front-seat passenger," according to the complaint.
Janet Favreau says Escondido police failed to tell all of the officers on the scene that Jennifer was in the vehicle, and that they violated procedure by allowing her to ride with the suspect.
She sued the City of Escondido, Chief of Police Jim Maher, and police Officers Reiley and Roger Cirilo. She seeks more than $50 million in damages for wrongful death. She says the police had a "special relationship" with her daughter, and that "this special relationship created an even higher duty than what defendants would typically owe a citizen ... to protect her while she helped defendants apprehend and prosecute suspects."
"Had defendants, in particular but not limited to Cirilo, warned Jennifer Favreau not to get into the vehicle ... decedent would not have gotten in the vehicle and she would still be alive today."
Janet Favreau is represented by John Burris of Oakland.
Escondido, a city of 140,000, is in inland northern San Diego County.
Read the Top 8
Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.