The civil lawsuit has come to a close in the Shayan Mazroei case (previous reportage here). The Iranian-American student who was killed by a white supremacist in 2015 has had his story told in court—including a disturbing showcase of the surveillance footage in court—and a $6 million judgment was issued to the Mazroei family.
In R. Scott Moxley’s update for the OC Weekly, the jurors are described as placing 90 percent of the blame for the murder on Craig Tanber, and 10 percent on the victim. The claim was that, since Mazroei had not obeyed the security guard Mark Fillingham’s commands to remain in the bar after the initial altercations, part of the responsibility of his death remains on him.
The $6 million judgment appears to be an entirely figurative matter, as Tanber is back in prison (where he may remain for the rest of his life) and clearly does not have the resources to pay out to the victim’s family. With zero percent of the blame assigned to Patsy’s Irish Pub, where the murder took place, the civil suit judgment remains arguably meaningless.
Robert Bergsten was the attorney defending Patsy’s, and had this to say about the results: “This tragic murder was so unforeseeable that the jurors really felt for the guard and they felt that Patsy’s and the guard did what they should have done in this situation.” Considering that the footage included an instance when Fillingham “diverted his attention to a customer who wanted a taxi ride home,” the notion that the bar itself was completely absolved of any fault appears troubling, after the fact.
Attorney Neama Rahmani represented the Mazroeis in the civil trial, and reports that the family is satisfied with the verdict, with eyes firmly set on the criminal trial.
Shayan Mazroei was murdered on September 6th,2015. District Attorney Tony Rackauckas refused to label it a hate crime, despite the racist epithets uttered by Tanber—a confirmed white supremacist gang member—prior to the murder.