Beets, et al v. County of Los Angeles, et al, No. 10-55036 (9th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs, parents of GPR, filed an action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983 alleging that an officer used excessive force when he shot and killed GPR. GPR and his accomplice were fleeing from the police when GPR, who was driving a truck, reversed and backed rapidly in the direction of the officer, and the officer, fearing for his life, fired at GPR and killed him. The court held that Heck v. Humphrey barred plaintiffs' suit. Plaintiffs sought to show that the officer used excessive force, but the jury that convicted GPR's accomplice had already determined that the officer acted within the scope of his employment and did not use excessive force. Accordingly, a verdict in plaintiffs' favor would tend to undermine the accomplice's conviction. Moreover, the accomplice challenged the propriety of the officer's actions in her criminal trial, her interests in doing so were in no way inconsistent with plaintiffs' interests, and the accomplice was convicted by a jury.