Police Brutality: Case of Paul Castaway


The Case of Paul Castaway

Paul Castaway was shot and killed by Denver police officer Michael Traudt. On July 12th, 2015, Paul broke into his mother’s, Lilian Castaway, residence and poked her on the neck with a knife. He was drunk and appeared to be having a psychotic episode. Paul had a history schizophrenia. In a call for help, Lilian dialed 911 (emergency services). Police officers Michael Traudt and Jerry Lara responded to the call. When they arrived at the scene, they encountered Castaway running away. Castaway then proceeded to hold the knife to his own throat. At no time did he threaten the officers. He only threatened to kill himself. After moving towards the officers, the knife still at his own throat, and not complying with an order to release the knife, Traudt pointed his service weapon and shot Castaway three times, striking him twice. So instead of providing a mentally ill man with help, police officers killed him.

After a Denver Police Department investigation, the Denver District Attorney determined that Castaway’s killing was legally justified since the officers feared for their lives.


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