Judge dismisses lawsuit in fatal shooting of Farmington man

Published: Friday, Sept. 27 2013 7:02 p.m. MDT

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against three cities whose police officers shot and killed a Farmington man during a standoff in 2008.

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SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit against three cities whose police officers fatally shot a Farmington man during a standoff five years ago.

Elizabeth Wood claimed police from Farmington, Davis County and Salt Lake City used excessive force in the deadly shooting of her husband, Brian Wood.

U.S. District Judge David Nuffer ruled that because the court earlier found one of the deputies involved in the shooting acted reasonably and didn't violate her husband's constitutional rights, Elizabeth Wood couldn't hold the cities liable for his actions.

Officers killed Wood following a 12-hour standoff in Farmington in September 2008. After allegedly beating and raping his wife, police surrounded Wood as he sat in a pickup truck in his driveway. They got him out of the truck using tear gas and pepper spray.

Once outside the truck, he was shot with rubber bullets, pepper balls and a Taser multiple times. But when Wood fired the gun he was holding, officers returned fire with their guns.

Nuffer concluded the shooting was reasonable, particularly because there is no evidence that the officers directed the SWAT team to use or knew they would use excessive force. He said Elizabeth Wood failed to establish a constitutional violation by any of three cities' police officers.

"Without a constitutional violation, no municipal liability can be imposed against Farmington city, Davis County or Salt Lake City," Nuffer wrote.

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