NEW ORLEANS -- A federal judge dismissed a civil lawsuit today, ruling that New Orleans police officers were justified in using deadly force to shoot and kill an eastern New Orleans man in 2010.
The family of Brian Harris had called police that evening to report that the mentally ill man had barricaded himself inside his room. They alleged that police overreacted in barging into their home and rousting Harris from his bed. He had a pocket knife in his hand and did not immediately respond to police orders.
Officers shot Harris with a Taser. He refused to comply and waved his arms around. He was then shot dead.
The New Orleans Police Department said the use of force was reasonable and necessary to prevent injury to themselves and others. The department said Harris failed to respond to police demands and that he was moving towards officers in a menacing manner.
U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Vance agreed, ruling in favor of the city and the NOPD.
As part of her ruling, Vance unsealed evidence in the case, including video footage from a police Taser.