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Jury rules for Pennsylvania troopers in fatal shooting suit

August 22, 2019

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) — A federal jury has decided that Pennsylvania State Police troopers didn’t use excessive force when they shot and killed a man in 2015.

Jurors on Wednesday ruled against the family of 21-year-old Derek DeGroat in their $18.7 million civil suit. The family filed suit after three state police troopers were dispatched to DeGroat’s Wayne County home for a report that he was armed and suicidal.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Steven Raiser told jurors that police shot DeGroat while his hands were by his side. But Senior Deputy Attorney General Jessica Davis says DeGroat had pointed a gun in the troopers’ direction and ignored their commands to drop it. She says, “It’s easy to Monday-morning quarterback in that situation. This happened instantaneously.”

A prosecutor had previously determined the troopers did nothing wrong.

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