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Court overturns verdict against officer sued after shooting

A Maryland appeals court has overturned a jury verdict against a Baltimore police officer sued by the family of a man he shot.

The Court of Special Appeals ruled Thursday that any prudent officer could reasonably have made the same decision David Austin did to shoot Jeffrey Blair as Blair charged him after a February 2015 traffic stop.

The court said a judge erred in denying Austin’s motion for judgment in his favor at the end of trial testimony. The jury later returned verdicts against Austin on counts of civil assault and excessive force and awarded damages to Blair’s family.

According to court records, Blair continued to behave aggressively after being shot and was subdued only after being stunned twice with a Taser. Blair killed himself about three months later.

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