CHP Officer Who Shot Woman 12 Times Not Liable After All, Court Says
|Well, the job was clearly romanticized|
On March 26, 2006, at about 2 a.m., Eklund, who was wanted for identity theft, was spotted driving a stolen car near Antioch. CHP officers chased after her as she sped at 100 mph along Highway 4 and across the Bay Bridge into San Francisco.
Eklund finally came to a stop at a cul-de-sac in the Mission Terrace neighborhood. While Markgraf tried to get her to turn off her ignition, she ignored him, yelling "Fuck you" before ramming her car three times into his cruiser.
Within 30 seconds of the collision, officers drew their weapons, yet Markgraf was the only one who fired, shooting Eklund 12 times before another officer told him to stop. She died instantly.
Although Eklund was unarmed, Markgraf defended the shooting, saying he was scared that she was about to run over officers. Eklund's daughters, who were 10 and 12 at the time, sued Markgraf and won. The jury awarded them $60,000 in damages, plus another $560,000 for legal fees.
But in a 3-0 decision, the Ninth Circuit this week overturned that verdict, saying the case should have never gone to a jury trial and that Markgraf was clearly in a high-pressure situation where he thought he was in danger.
Given how quickly the shooting happened after she rammed her car into his vehicle, "he lacked the opportunity for actual deliberation," the court said.
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