KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri police officer used reasonable force when he fatally shot an unarmed man in 2013 because the officer believed the man was armed and posed a threat, a federal judge determined.
Kansas City police Officer William Thompson shot and killed 24-year-old Ryan Stokes in July 2013 during a foot chase. Stokes, who was black, was falsely accused of stealing a cellphone. Thompson, who is biracial, shot him twice in the back even though Stokes was following another officer’s commands.
U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes ruled Tuesday that Thompson has immunity.
“Using the applicable factors to determine objective reasonableness, Officer Thompson believed Stokes was armed and turned to ambush the pursuing officers, and Officer Thompson discharged his weapon to protect the approaching officers,” Wimes wrote in his 15-page opinion.