LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A judge has dismissed all claims against the city of Little Rock and its former police chief two weeks before a federal jury was scheduled to begin hearing evidence in a 2015 wrongful death suit.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Miller granted a motion for summary judgment filed on behalf of the city and retired city police chief Stuart Thomas, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2kLt4ep ) reported.
The lawsuit filed was on behalf of Sylvia Perkins the mother of 15-year-old Bobby Hoe Moore III, who was shot and killed by authorities in 2012. The lawsuit alleges former officer Josh Hastings violated Moore’s civil rights when he shot into a car that the teen was driving.
After an internal investigation into the shooting was conducted Hastings was let go from the department.
However, the lawsuit alleged the city and Thomas should be held responsible for not properly training Hastings, failing to adequately supervise and discipline him, for maintaining a widespread custom of excessive force and untruthfulness and for hiring Hastings. Perkins sought compensatory and punitive damages against the city, Stuart and Hastings.
On Oct. 31, Attorney Amanda LaFever of the Arkansas Municipal League filed a motion, which asked for the dismissal of claims against the city and Thomas. She argued that the lawsuit must cite a pattern of unconstitutional misconduct existed, and that the city and Thomas were not proactive to stop it.
Perkins’ attorney Mike Laux said he will still try the case on Feb. 13 against Hastings.
In 2013, Hastings was tried twice in Pulaski County Circuit Court on manslaughter charges in connection to shooting Moore. However, in both instances the juries became deadlocked and a mistrial was declared. Prosecutors declined to try him a third time, citing the deadlocks.
Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com