A federal lawsuit against a Kenosha Police officer who shot and killed a man after a chase is being considered by the appellate court.
The family of Aaron Siler filed suit against the city of Kenosha and Kenosha Police Officer Pablo Torres in 2017 claiming the police officer used excessive force.
This spring, the federal district court issued a partial summary judgment on the case, granting Torres qualified immunity, which relieved him from liability for the 2015 shooting. The court’s decision would have allowed the claim against the city to go forward.
“It was a decision that wasn’t completely clear on all the issues,” said Jonathan Safran, the Silers’ attorney.
Safran wrote in seeking the appeal, “The District Court stated that it would welcome guidance from the Seventh Circuit on the difficult issue of qualified immunity.”
Qualified immunity shields government officials as individuals from being sued for actions unless their actions violated “clearly established” federal law or constitutional rights.
Torres shot Siler on March 14, 2015. Officers had attempted to stop Siler on a felony probation-parole warrant. He fled, first in a vehicle, then on foot.
Torres chased Siler into a garage, shooting him after Siler picked up a bucket.
Robert Zapf, then district attorney of Kenosha County, found that the shooting was justified.
Safran said attorneys for the city and for the Siler family will file written arguments with the appellate court by this fall, and are likely to have oral arguments before the federal appellate court in Chicago in late fall or winter.
He said a decision would likely not be issued until sometime next year.