A jury trial has been set for Oct. 1, 2018 in a pending lawsuit regarding a Gardner Police Department officer-involved shooting that occurred in March, 2015.
A wrongful death suit was filed in 2016 in the United States District Court by Michele Choate on behalf of all heirs of Deanne Choate, 53, and it names the City of Gardner, and officers Robert Huff, Justin Mohney and Jeff Breneman, as defendants.
According to court documents a motion hearing was convened on Dec. 15, 2017 and pretrial conference was set for 10 a.m. March 15, 2018, with a jury trial in Kansas City at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 1, 2018.
Police were responding to a 911 call at a home in the 400 block of North Birch Street. The call indicated Deanne was under the influence of alcohol, may be suicidal and had a gun, according to court documents.
According a 2015 press release issued by the district attorney’s office, a review indicated that the Gardner police officer’s use of force was justified under Kansas law. No criminal action was taken against the officer, and the DA’s office cleared GPD officers of wrongdoing May 12, 2015.
The lawsuit alleges unnecessarily aggressive behavior and impulsive, reckless and excessive use of deadly force and also that the city has a practice of authorizing the use of deadly force in the absence of an actual and immediate threat and a long standing policy of hiding a police officer’s excessive use of force.
The suit seeks an unspecified amount in damages.