Trial for man shot by ECPD in 2015 won’t be held in Eau Claire
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The trial for a civil lawsuit filed by an Eau Claire man who was shot by Eau Claire Police in 2015 will not be held in Eau Claire.
Tyler Holte was shot twice by Eau Claire Police Officer Hunter Braatz twice on April 1, 2015. The ECPD says that Holte was resisting arrest following a vehicle pursuit, fleeing officers in a stolen vehicle.
A motion by the City of Eau Claire to hold the trial to Eau Claire was denied by Western District of Wisconsin Judge James D. Peterson. Peterson wrote in denying the motion Tuesday that the defendants, the City of Eau Claire and Officer Braatz, haven’t shown that holding the trial in Eau Claire is warranted.
The City of Eau Claire argued that Braatz and other likely witnesses reside in the Eau Claire area, which would be more convenient for them. Additionally, the defendants said that holding the trial in Eau Claire would allow for the jury to visit the scenes of the incident. Holte’s attorney objected to having the trial in Eau Claire, stating that Holte plans to relocate to southern Wisconsin before the trial, and that due to Holte’s financial situation, holding the trial in Eau Claire would place a burden on Holte. Judge Peterson wrote that the convenience of holding the trial in Eau Claire for the defendants and the witnesses is offset by the the inconvenience to Holte, and in denying the motion, stated that courts typically defer to the plaintiff’s choice of forum for the trial.
A motion for summary judgement by the defendants claiming Braatz is entitled to qualified immunity was also denied by Judge Peterson, writing that the law prohibits the use of deadly force against a passively resisting subject.
Holte’s attorney, Jeff Scott Olson, filed the civil lawsuit against the city of Eau Claire and Officer Braatz in Madison. Olson did not specify how much money Holte is seeking in the lawsuit.
In June of 2015, Eau Claire County District Attorney Gary King concluded the actions of Officer Braatz were justified and found no wrongdoing.
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