On Monday, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a police department whose policy requires 100% of its officers to certify they have read and understood the vehicle-pursuit protocol is not liable for an accident even if all its members failed to sign, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The ruling stemmed from a lawsuit against the city of Gardena by the mother of a passenger in a pickup truck that police were pursuing in 2015 for a cellphone robbery.
About a minute into the pursuit, a Gardena officer rammed the truck, causing the death of 19-year-old Mark Gamar.
Attorneys representing the family of the decedent argued that the city of Gardena should be held liable for Gamar’s death because the law required 100% compliance with the pursuit policy.
Law enforcement associations countered that requiring 100% of officers to certify in writing to the policy would be administratively impossible to achieve, particularly for large law enforcement agencies.
The court agreed with law enforcement, deciding 100% certification "would make it very difficult for a public entity like the city to achieve immunity, and almost impossible for a large entity employing thousands of peace officers."