"When we operate with injustice against each other, it throws things out of balance. So the floods, the heating of the earth, climate change — this is all happening not because it’s just part of ebb and flow of nature. It is the impact of an arrogant humanity that sees the earth as something that we should dominate and exploit versus a gift that we are here to care for.” — Rev. Otis Moss
The federal court of appeals in Atlanta on Tuesday held that a Fulton County police officer who shot a 16-year-old teen in the back of the head after the youth surrendered and was kneeling on the ground is entitled to immunity from liability under state law.
In doing so, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit vacated, reversed and remanded part of a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Amy Totenberg, who had decided that a civil suit filed on the teen’s behalf should be allowed to go to trial. Totenberg had ruled that the officer should face trial on state negligence claims.
Totenberg had cleared the officer of civil rights violations because the shooting was deemed accidental, a ruling that was not part of the interim appeal.
The teen, who is identified only by his initials, D.M.C., in court filings because he was a minor when he was shot in 2011, survived the shooting but suffered significant injuries, including brain damage. His medical bills have exceeded $1 million, said Craig Jones, who represents the youth’s family in the suit.