The Los Angeles Police Department's SWAT officers involved in the fatal shooting of a 19-month-old who was used as a human shield by her distraught father were not negligent, an appellate court has ruled.
"The decision by the Second District Court of Appeal upheld a ruling by a trial court that dismissed the case in 2009," according to Paul M. Weber, president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League. "The Appellate Court found the officers were forced to react to attempt to save the girl, and their force was reasonable in light of the threat posed by the girl's father.
Suzie Pena was fatally shot during a barricade situation on July 10, 2005, when Raul Pena, who was intoxicated and delirious, threatened to kill himself and his daughter.
In an appellate court ruling, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu ruled that officers acted reasonably during a 2 1/2-hour standoff.
During the standoff, Jose Pena fired at arriving police officers. He had threatened to kill his wife, 17-year-old daughter and his toddler daughter. He fired at least 40 shots during the confrontation.