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5/5/2009 - Chula Vista Police Department Wins Defense Verdict In Shooting Trial Alleging Excessive Force

A San Diego jury recently concluded that Chula Vista police officers involved in the shooting-related death of Terrence Allen did not act in violation of federal civil rights or police policy when using deadly force on a psychotic suspect who violently attacked them. The jury rendered a defense verdict in the City's favor absolving the officers from any liability related to Mr. Allen's death. A previous investigation into Allen’s shooting by the District Attorney found no grounds to pursue criminal actions.

"This was a tragedy for everyone involved, but the jury's decision speaks for itself,” said Chula Vista Police Chief Rick Emerson. “Every day Officers answer the call and there are times when they are thrust into life and death situations. Sometimes, as we learned in this case, the subject is more interested escalating the event, even to the point where lives are endangered. Because of the intense level of violence Mr. Allen demonstrated, our Officer's were forced into a difficult decision to use lethal force. Initially our officers were only concerned with Mr. Allen's welfare and taking him to a safe place, but Mr. Allen's unexpected violence forced the officer's to have to protect their own welfare out of fear for their lives."

Terrance Allen died on August 2, 2007 after he initiated a violent confrontation with police officers.

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