Judge rules in favor of trooper in excessive force lawsuit
QUINCY, Mass. (AP) — A judge has ruled in favor of a Massachusetts State Police trooper who was facing an excessive force lawsuit in connection to the fatal shooting of a man five years ago.
The Patriot Ledger reports that federal Magistrate Judge Donald Cabell ruled it was “not unreasonable” for Trooper Stephen Walker to shoot Wilfredo Justiniano Jr. after the man was hit with pepper spray twice and ignored orders to stay back.
The shooting happened in Quincy in June 2013 after a motorist reported Justiniano had been driving erratically.
Justiniano’s family argued the shooting wasn’t justified because the man was only armed with a pen and he had not committed any crime.
State police spokesman Dave Procopio says the judge’s ruling was appropriate.