Judge: LMPD officers were not 'deliberately indifferent' to Darnell Wicker's medical needs
The officers "perceived that Wicker needed medical help, summoned medical help, and followed up on their previous call for medical help," Judge Simpson wrote.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A federal judge has ruled that the Louisville Metro Police officers who shot and killed Darnell Wicker on Aug. 8 were not “deliberately indifferent” to the dying man’s medical care.
Judge Charles Simpson III on Friday dismissed a claim of inadequate medical care from a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the officers last year by Wicker's family.
As part of the suit, Wicker's daughter's Danielle Cleveland and Dominique Wicker, claimed Officers Taylor Banks, Beau Gadegaard and Brian Smith were “deliberately indifferent to Wicker’s medical needs” because they failed to render aid while waiting for EMS to arrive after the Aug. 8 shooting.
The lawsuit argues the officers knew, or should have known, that Wicker was bleeding to death and “their aid and intervention was necessary to increase the likelihood” of his survival.
But Simpson ruled the officers called for an ambulance and then checked on when the ambulance would arrive after noticing Wicker’s “physical condition was deteriorating.”
The officers "perceived that Wicker needed medical help, summoned medical help, and followed up on their previous call for medical help," Simpson wrote.
Attorneys for the officers had argued in court records that any claims of alleged negligence by officers in failing to assist Wicker “must be dismissed” because such care is not required by state law, saying it is a "non-existent constitutional right."
Four other charges, including unnecessary use of force and wrongful death, remain active in the lawsuit.
Wicker, 57, was shot and killed by Banks and Gadegaard on Aug. 7 after police responded to a domestic violence call at the Broadleaf Arms Apartments.
The federal lawsuit claims the officers “unreasonably and unjustifiably cut off their blue lights prior to entering the parking lot of the apartment complex” and “did not announce themselves as law enforcement.”
It alleges that the officers fired at Wicker “more than seven times within two seconds” of him walking outside. Wicker’s daughters say their father “was holding a tree saw” but he “was neither charging nor lunging at any of the officers.”
Louisville Metro Government and Police Chief Steve Conrad, among others, are also named as defendants in the lawsuit.
The officers were cleared of any criminal wrongdoing by Jefferson Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Wine.
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