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Judge clears officers in wrongful death suit
Sep 27, 2013 | 1110 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print

SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge has cleared officers from several law enforcement agencies in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of a part-time Farmington firefighter shot after a 12-hour stand-off in 2008.

U.S. District Court Judge David Nuffer granted summary judgment motions for Farmington City, Davis County and Salt Lake City after finding officers from those jurisdictions did not violate the constitutional rights of Brian Wood during the stand-off in September 2008.

In their wrongful death lawsuit, Wood’s wife and parents alleged officers acted unreasonably in response to a 911 call Wood made. In that call Wood claimed he had beaten and raped his wife. Following the call, Wood fired a shot into a garbage can and then got into his pickup truck outside his home. He had two pistols with him.

For a couple of hours officers tried to get Wood to put his weapons down and leave the truck. They then used tear gas to force Wood out of the vehicle where he remained for several more hours,

Special weapons and Tactics (SWAT) members from the Davis County Sheriff’s Office and Salt Lake City eventually used a Taser on Wood, but he still did not drop the gun.

A Davis County Sheriff’s deputy shot Wood when he pointed the gun at him and other officers. Nuffer dismissed claims against the deputy in November 2012.

In his ruling Thursday, Sept. 26, Nuffer said the plan the officers used was “only implemented after Mr. Wood had refused to voluntarily surrender over the course of 12 hours of negotiations.”

There was no evidence that any of the law enforcement agencies engaged in an unconstitutional government policy in the alleged use of excessive force, Nuffer said in his ruling.
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