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California Police Officer Cleared in Killing of Parolee

SAN FRANCISCO -- A former San Pablo police officer committed no wrongdoing when he shot and killed a wanted parolee in 2011, a federal jury ruled Tuesday.

The panel deliberated for less than an hour before determining that under the circumstances, Officer Mark Galios did not use unreasonable or excessive force when he shot and killed Akinlabi Minter, 33, behind a gas station near San Pablo Dam Road and Ventura Avenue on Jan. 18, 2011.

The verdict came after a weeklong trial in the San Francisco courtroom of U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley.

Minter's grandmother, Rhonda Minter, and his five children had sued the city and Galios, saying Minter was "unlawfully executed" and posed no danger to the officer or the public when he was shot. The city was later dismissed as a defendant.

Police have said Minter was a passenger in a car who abruptly got out during a traffic stop. His family says he had to use the restroom.

Minter ran around the back of a gas station, and Galios followed him and stunned him with a Taser shock weapon, authorities said.

Minter jumped over a hedge, fell to the ground and pulled a loaded handgun from his waistband, prompting Galios to fire several shots, police have said.

Galios is now a Vallejo police officer, said his attorney Noah Blechman.

"This officer was basically in a situation where it was either shoot or be shot," Blechman said. "The jury understood that this officer had no other option, basically."

Copyright 2014 - San Francisco Chronicle

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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