Ferndale — A federal court says a Ferndale police officer has immunity in a lawsuit over a fatal shooting, even if he clearly violated the constitutional rights of the victim.
Laszlo Latits was shot three times by a Ferndale officer after fleeing a traffic stop in 2010. Despite the deadly force, the appeals court said Latits wasn’t a threat to officers or the public at the time of the shooting.
The court said Officer Lowell Phillips violated Latits’ rights. But the lawsuit is over because Phillips has immunity.
In a 2-1 decision last week, the court says it must follow legal precedent that was in place back in 2010. The court says there’s no case law that would find Phillips’ conduct unreasonable for the purpose of a lawsuit.
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