Jury blocked civil trial for fatal shooting of Dalvin Hollins by Tempe PD
A U.S. District Court judge has ruled a federal trial in connection with the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Dalvin Hollins by the Tempe police in 2016 after the jury stalled on Wednesday with all but two complaints.
A lawyer representing Sarah Coleman, Hollins’ mother, filed a 2017 civil lawsuit alleging alleged wrongful death, excessive violence and other violations of her son’s death.
The error only applies to claims on which the jury was unable to make a decision.
Tempe Police responded to reports of a robbery involving a suspect who may have been armed in a Walgreens near McClintock and Guadalupe Streets on July 27, 2016. The officers saw Hollins who matched the suspect’s description nearby and tried to contact him.
Hollins fled and two officers, including Lt. Edward Ouimette, chased him. Ouimette told Hollins that if he didn’t stop running, he would shoot him, according to his police report.
Ouimette wrote in his report that he saw Hollins reaching for a “black semi-automatic handgun”. He fired one round and hit the teenager in the back.
Hollins retired to a maintenance shed in a retirement home, where he died of his injuries.
None of the officers activated their body-worn cameras until after the shooting.
Court files received from the Arizona Republic said the jury resumed deliberations at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, the eighth day of the trial. The jury withdrew and reassembled several times before reaching a unanimous verdict on two lawsuits shortly before 2 p.m.
The jury decided in favor of Ouimette in relation to Coleman and Hollins ‘father Calvin Hollins’ family unions claims under the Fourteenth Amendment. To enforce their claims, Tempe City said the couple must have proven that Hollins was killed by Ouimette’s use of unconstitutional excessive force and that he “acted with intent to harm Dalvin Collins, unrelated to legitimate law enforcement purposes “.
The jury ruled in favor of Coleman and Hollins in their battery claim against Ouimette, but got stuck with the remaining claims. The judge declared these claims false and the jury was excused according to court records.
The trial of alleged homicides due to negligent education or supervision by the city of Tempe and excessive violence on the part of Ouimette was scheduled for February 28.
Darien Barret, Hollin’s friend and police brutality activist, spoke to The Arizona Republic and said the misconduct has taken an emotional toll on him and Hollin’s family.
“I am annoyed because we are all waiting for an answer,” said Barret. “Me, family, friends; people who took to the streets to bring justice to my friend.”
The city of Tempe released a statement Wednesday night calling Hollins’ death a “tragedy” but added that the actions of Ouimette and Tempe police are “within city and police policies and state and federal law” .
The statement indicated that the Maricopa District Prosecutor had not charged Ouimette in the case. Prosecutors announced their decision in April 2017, saying Ouimette had reason to believe his life was in danger.
“The City of Tempe continues to support the dedicated men and women who serve in the Tempe Police Department and recognize the difficult work they do every day to protect our community,” the statement said.
It went on to detail the city’s police reforms and initiatives over the past few years, including its strategic plan for community security, which it said marks “the future of trustworthy police force and innovative response in the city of Tempe.” plan “should.
Barret said he believed the officials’ lack of transparency was delaying a final decision, adding that he would like a different jury in the upcoming trial.
“I’m sick of waiting,” he said. “I really hope this will be the last time we’ll have to stand trial.”
Coleman and Tempe City lawyers did not respond to Republic requests for further comment.
Reporter Jerod MacDonald-Evoy contributed to this report.
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