Attorney for South Lake Tahoe denies allegations in police shooting civil suit
The City of South Lake Tahoe has denied a series of allegations contained in a civil suit filed by the family of a man killed by an on-duty police officer in June.
In a Feb. 25 filing in federal court in Sacramento, attorney Bruce Praet rebutted allegations made by attorney Alan Laskin in a civil suit surrounding the shooting of Kris Jackson. Praet is representing the City of South Lake Tahoe, police chief Brian Uhler and the officer who shot Jackson, Joshua Klinge, in the matter.
Klinge shot Jackson around 2:40 a.m. on June 15 as Jackson was attempting to flee from a room at Tahoe Hacienda Inn. Police had responded to the hotel following a report of a woman screaming. Jackson was unarmed at the time of the shooting, according to Laskin.
Laskin’s suit contends the city, Uhler and Klinge were negligent related to the shooting of Jackson, says the shooting was motivated by prejudice, argues that police deprived Jackson of medical care, maintains the city failed to adequately train police officers and alleges police have shown a pattern of providing misleading information.
Each of the allegations is denied in Praet’s filing.
The actions of Klinge, the city and Uhler were “reasonable, proper, and legal,” and the defendants “acted in good faith, without malice, and within the scope of their duties as police officers and other officials for the City of South Lake Tahoe and as peace officers for the State of California,” according to the February filing.
The filing contends the city had the right to investigate Jackson, as well as use force against him.
“… Defendants allege that if any force was used upon or Plaintiffs’ decedent, said force was caused and necessitated by the unlawful acts of the Plaintiffs and Plaintiffs’ decedent and was necessary and reasonable to protect the Defendants and others,” according to the filing.
The document also reiterates the police department’s contention that Jackson was not denied proper medical assistance following the shooting.
“… none of these Defendants had any duty to administer medical aid or assistance to Plaintiffs’ decedent and, to the extent that any such duty existed, that all Defendants acted reasonably and without gross negligence or deliberate indifference,” according to the filing.
The document also contends Jackson’s parents “did not suffer any detriment or damage in any amount whatsoever or at all,” and any detriment suffered by Jackson and his parents was “unavoidable.”
Any detriment suffered by Jackson’s parents “was voluntarily consented to by the Plaintiffs and Plaintiffs’ decedent” and “was caused solely by reason of Plaintiffs’ and Plaintiffs’ decedent’s wrongful acts and conduct and the willful resistance to a peace officer in the discharge, and attempt to discharge the duty of his office, and not by reason of any unlawful acts or omissions by these Defendants,” according to Praet’s filing.
Laskin’s suit is seeking lost income, medical expenses, funeral costs and punitive damages from the city, Klinge and Uhler.