By Ed White
DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit-area police officer who killed a motorist with three shots violated the man’s constitutional rights but still has immunity in a lawsuit over deadly force, a federal appeals court said.
In a 2-1 decision last week, the court said nothing appeared to justify the conduct of Ferndale officer Lowell Phillips at the end of a chase in 2010. Nonetheless, the court said a lawsuit by Laszlo Latits’ family must end.
The court said there was no case law, or legal precedent, at the time of the shooting that would help Latits’ family overcome governmental immunity in the case.
Latits was stopped by Ferndale police for a wrong turn. He subsequently drove off after officers suspected there were drugs in the car.
The chase eventually ended with police cars on three sides of Latits’ vehicle. With no one behind him, he slowly…