A Texas police officer who killed a chase suspect while firing 41 shots at him has been fired after his police department determined he used excessive force.
The Garland Police Department said it fired Officer Patrick Tuter after an internal investigation into the Aug. 12, 2012, shooting of Michael Allen, according to NBC News
Allen, 25, was shot and killed after a high-speed chase that began in Garland, in the Dallas-Forth Worth area, and ended 30 minutes away in Mesquite. Allen was wanted on suspicion of eluding police in Sasche a few days earlier.
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Allen had numerous previous run-ins with the law, including arrests for evading police, drug possession and assault, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Garland police spokesman Joe Harn said Tuter violated the department's general order of use of force and its pursuit protocol.
At first, officials said Tuter opened fire in fear of his life, but a dashboard camera video documenting the incident raised concerns after it showed that Tuter rammed Allen's truck and fired 41 shots after he cornered Allen in a cul-de-sac. Tuter reloaded twice, police said.
Tuter's attorney said his client does not agree with the department's decision to fire him and will appeal.
"The indefinite suspension was based upon alleged violations of the Garland Police Department's internal, administrative policies," the attorney said in a statement. "However, Officer Tuter's actions were justified under this state's penal code, and the indefinite suspension will be appealed under state civil service law."
Allen's family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Tuter.
"He did not deserve the death sentence," Allen's mother, Stephanie Allen, told NBC. "Patrick Tuter was not judge and jury, and that's what he made himself out to be."
The lawsuit alleges that Michael Allen did not have a weapon and did not pose a threat to officers. It also claims Tuter's use of force was unnecessary.
"That's what tears me up, that they weren't only just excessive, it was excessive on top of excessive," said Randy Allen, Michael's father.
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