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ARTICLE ID 13087

$________ Municipal Liability - Wrongful Death - Civil Rights - Excessive force - Decedent fatally shot by City of New Haven police officer.

New Haven Judicial District, Conn.

This action arose out of the shooting death of the male decedent by a City of New Haven police officer. The plaintiff contended that the officers involved in the pursuit of the decedent used excessive force in attempting to arrest him, thereby resulting in his suffering fatal gunshot wounds.

In June of ________, the decedent was operating his car down Hurlburt Street at approximately 11:30 at night when he was shot and killed by City of New Haven police officers. Claiming that they suspected a drug transaction, two City of New Haven police officers stepped into the road and signaled for the decedent to stop his car. The officers testified that the car was traveling at a speed of between 30 and 43 miles per hour.

The first police officer claimed that the car struck him and that he rolled onto the hood. This officer further claimed that he shot his gun while on the hood of the car, fell off the hood, and then shot about four more times into the decedent’s moving vehicle. The second police officer also shot about five times into the rear of the decedent’s moving car.

Testimony from eyewitnesses conflicted with the police officers’ version of the facts. The witnesses stated that the first police officer was never on the hood of the car. The plaintiff’s accident reconstruction expert testified that the physics of the accident were inconsistent with the officers’ testimony.

The jury found that the first police officer was liable for using excessive force in seizing the decedent by shooting him. The jury exonerated the second police officer. The jury additionally found that the Chief of Police and the City of New Haven, two other defendants, were "deliberately indifferent" to the constitutional rights of the decedent. Counsel for plaintiff reports that an p 7 3 investigation by a State’s Attorney cleared the officers of homicide charges. An investigation by the Board of Police Commissioners also cleared the officers of violating department policy. The jury awarded the plaintiff $________.

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