Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Jury rejects lawsuit brought by family of woman killed by police during traffic stop

Associated Press:

A federal jury Tuesday rejected a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the relatives of an unarmed black woman killed by a white officer during a traffic stop – a shooting that provoked racial unrest in the city.

The family of Kendra James sought $12 million from Scott McCollister, who fired the fatal shot May 5, 2003.

McCollister's lawyers argued he was reacting to a fast-moving and dangerous situation involving an out-of-control woman high on a near-lethal dose of cocaine.

"People look to jury verdicts as a win or lose situation. But in this case, there are no winners," police Chief Derrick Foxworth said after the verdict. "This was a situation that resulted in a person's death, caused division within the community and pain for all involved."

McCollister testified he acted instinctively to save his life, and shot James while trying to pull her from a moving car.

Jury instructions in the Kendra James wrongful death case

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