A former Leavenworth police officer who fatally shot a man in 2017 cannot claim legal immunity, a ruling that leaves it to a jury to decide whether his actions were justified as self defense.
Leavenworth County Judge Michael Gibbens found that the force used by then-officer Matthew Harrington was not statutorily justified as self defense, clearing the way for the involuntary manslaughter case to proceed, The Kansas City Star reported.
Harrington was indicted in August 2018 for the death of Antonio Garcia Jr., who was shot multiple times while sitting in an SUV. Harrington was fired for violating policy.
The judge ruled that a reasonable person would not believe use of force was necessary, or that the SUV Garcia was in could be considered a weapon.
Garcia’s family settled a wrongful death and civil right’s lawsuit against Harrington and the city of Leavenworth for one million dollars.