NEW ORLEANS (CN) – A police officer should not have been found liable for using excessive force in a shooting, the 5th Circuit ruled.
After a police chase, Alfredo Ramirez Jr. refused to drop his gun. Officer John Knoulton shot him in the face.
Ramirez, 21, had been fleeing police after threatening suicide in the wake of an investigation that he had sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl.
A magistrate judge noted that the officers didn’t consider using non-lethal force and that the defendant was shot 10 seconds after exiting his car.
“It appears to us that the magistrate judge has largely employed 20/20 hindsight in reaching this conclusion,” Judge Prado wrote.
Prado quoted the 4th Circuit, which said “the Fourth Amendment does not require police officers to wait until a suspect shoots to confirm that a serious threat of harm exists.”