Judge won’t dismiss lawsuit filed over Millard County police shooting

Stock image | Photo courtesy of Pixabay, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a man shot by police during a 2014 chase in Millard County.

Fox13 reports George Finlinson is suing over the shooting and his treatment inside the Utah County Jail after his arrest. In a ruling recently handed down, U.S. District Court Judge Tena Campbell allowed the lawsuit to proceed against police and probation officers and the Millard and Utah County sheriff’s offices. Some specific officers were dropped from the litigation.

“A genuinely disputed material fact exists as to whether Utah County is liable … for subjecting Mr. Finlinson to punishment based on a policy of punishing detainees for unadjudicated charges of violence against police officers,” Campbell wrote.

The incident began in Oak City in 2014 when police were enlisted to help Finlinson’s family civilly commit him for treatment of paranoid schizophrenia.

“But what began as a seemingly simple task for county law enforcement — to take Mr. Finlinson into custody — quickly devolved into a thirty-minute slow-speed chase involving multiple officers and looking at times like a game of chicken, with Mr. Finlinson ramming his truck into some of the police cars,” Campbell wrote. “The chase ended in the shooting and tasing of Mr. Finlinson, who was later treated at a hospital and arrested upon release.”

The Millard County Sheriff’s Office said at the time that one officer was injured and they feared for their safety and shot at Finlinson. The judge’s ruling said the officers shot at Finlinson 40 times, hitting him five times in the torso and once in the neck. After being extracted, the judge wrote, Finlinson swung at officers and was Tasered.

Read the full story here: Fox13Now.com

Written by BEN WINSLOW, Fox13Now.com.

Copyright 2018, KSTU. A Tribune broadcasting station.

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