UPDATE: Jury rules in favor of city, police officer in fatal shooting of Peoria man, chief issues response to verdict

Verdict Reached in Luis Cruz Civil Wrongful Death Lawsuit against Peoria Police
Published: Aug. 24, 2023 at 12:18 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 24, 2023 at 1:21 PM CDT
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UPDATE 4:55 p.m. - Peoria Police Chief Eric Echevarria said he’s pleased with the verdict clearing Officer Ryan Isonhart and the city in the Luis Cruz wrongful death lawsuit, but acknowledged many people in the community are still hurting after Cruz was shot to death by police in July of 2018.

Echevarria released the following statement.

UPDATE 4:35 P.M. - A federal jury has ruled in favor of the City of Peoria and Police Officer Ryan Isonhart in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Luis Cruz, the 19-year-old Peoria man shot to death by police during a traffic stop in July of 2018.

Cruz’s family asked for $15.2 million in damages for his death, but the jury decided the family should receive no compensation.

Jurors deliberated less than three hours. They started deliberations shortly after 1 p.m.

PEORIA (25News Now) - The family of Luis Cruz is seeking $15.2 million in damages from the City of Peoria for the death of the 19-year-old, who was killed by a Peoria Police officer July 18, 2018.

The jury was handed all of the evidence and testimony shortly after 1 p.m. in the wrongful death civil trial against the city and Officer Ryan Isonhart.

The Cruz family is suing the city and Officer Isonhart for unspecified damages even though an Illinois State Police investigation determined Isonhart was justified using deadly force.

This includes $11 million for both of his grade school-aged daughters who were just 18-months-old at the time of his death.

During closing arguments, Lawyers for Cruz’s family listed 10 reasons why Isonhart’s story of the shooting were false, including a review of the dash cam video.

Official statements made two days after the shooting were allegedly inconsistent with the testimony heard in court this week.

Lawyers for the City of Peoria and Isonhart say there was no evidence of a cover-up since the five officers on scene knew the dash cam was recording video of the traffic stop.