Federal Judge Weighs Redwine Case On 3 Year Anniversary of Shooting
Officer Allan Brown Shot Three Teens After High Speed Police Chase
A Federal Judge must decide if former Police Officer Allan Brown and Columbus Police Chief Ricky Boren should be afforded immunity from multiple pending civil lawsuits after a deadly officer involved shooting. Three years to the day a former Columbus Police Officer shot three teenagers after a high speed chase, killing the driver, the case was heard in Federal Court.
The high speed chase across state lines, November 6th 2016 ended here off Riverchase Drive in Phenix City. Former Officer Allan Brown said he feared for his life when he fired 21 shots inside the Pontiac driven by 17 year old Christian Redwine. Columbus Police were chasing a reported stolen vehicle when Officer Brown joined the chase which exceeded 107 mph at one point. Redwine was shot multiple times and died at the scene. His two passengers were also shot but survived.
Three pending civil lawsuits name Brown and Police Chief Ricky Boren as defendants. The City says the Officer had to make a split second decision and that he was justified using deadly force and the lawsuits have no merit. Chief Boren is named as a Defendant for allegedly failing to properly train the Officer and lack of oversight of the Officer after he was disciplined by the Police Department. Now it’s up to a Federal Judge to decide.
The question of Qualified Immunity and the City’s liability for the deadly police shooting comes down to one thing. Would any reasonable officer act the same way in those circumstances, essentially unload 21 bullets into a car full of teenagers who took Grandaddy’s car without permission.
The attorney for Christian Redwine’s family said those are the facts, not what’s been presented in the court of public opinion. “It is not the cocaine, illegal marijuana induced chase that went through Columbus and Phenix City as has been reported and was argued in that very courtroom. That did not, not happen,” Steven Couch told First News outside the courtroom.
Thomas Gristina, a lawyer representing the City said the moment Christian Redwine decided he was going to flee at all costs and continued fleeing justified use of deadly force citing a previous Supreme Court ruling Scott V Harris stating if there was a continued threat to the officer or others, deadly force is justified.
Plaintiff’s Attorney Couch told the Judge Redwine was simply attempting to leave the scene that night and evidence shows the Officer was never actually behind the vehicle therefore not in immediate danger. In fact , Officer Brown came towards the Pontiac as he fired his service weapon the attorney said. “He says he thought the car was coming at him. There’s just no way that happened and I think if we get to present our case in front of a jury , I think they’ll agree with us on that,” Couch said.
Plaintiff’s attorneys said Officer Brown couldn’t be trusted to tell the truth singling out 12 seconds of video for the court that shows the Officer allegedly hiding something in his sock on the scene. The Judge said it was irrelevant. But he also said the city’s argument that Officer Brown could have “got a machine gun” and unloaded because of the possibility the teen could have run over somebody or killed them after leaving the scene sounded like a stretch.
The City’s Attorney said the Officer is justified to shoot until the scene is secure.
“What if not chasing him could have ended the threat” Judge Land countered.
The Judge will issue a ruling on Qualified Immunity this month but the case will end up in the 11th Circuit Court because both sides have an automatic appeal which means the case could still be months away from any Jury Trial depending on the Court’s decision.