COLUMBUS, Ohio — Judges with the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th District ruled the wrongful death lawsuit filed against two Columbus police officers in the shooting death of Henry Green has to go back to U.S. District Court for more consideration.
Green, 23, was killed in 2016 by undercover police officers Zach Rosen and Jason Bare.
Police said say they spotted Green with a gun at the corner of Duxberry Avenue and Ontario Street on June 6, 2016.
Documents from court and depositions say Green shot at officers and officers returned fire.
Police said Green was shot when he ignored commands to drop his gun.
Henry Green's mother, Adrienne Hood, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in 2019 and it was dismissed.
She filed an appeal, which led to the opinion filed Tuesday.
Hood alleged Rosen and Bare continued to shoot at Green after he was already going to the ground.
According to court documents, the district court did not provide a breakdown of the shooting "because it viewed all the shots as a single incident."
The appeals court decided to provide a "segmented analysis" of the shooting and determined "a jury could reasonably conclude that the Officers’ use of force in this context was unreasonable."
"The experts from both parties indicated that some of Green’s gunshot wounds were sustained while he was in a “lowered” position, likely when he was down on the ground or in the process of going down," the opinion from the appeals court read.
The appeals court also wrote, "It appears that there were gaps between the Officers’ shots, and they had time to reassess Green’s threat."
One judge on the appeals court, Judge Ralph Guy, said he did not agree with the opinion and wrote, "I cannot agree that the officers had time “to stop and reassess the threat level” before the last shots were fired."
He continued, "In my view, no reasonable juror could find there was a point at which an objectively reasonable officer would have known that Green was no longer a threat."
“The City Attorney’s Office takes these cases very seriously, with truth and the pursuit of justice as our primary goals. We are still reviewing this decision in its entirety to decide the appropriate course of action based on the court’s ruling,” said Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein.
The Columbus Division of Police declined to comment.
The local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police said it is reviewing the decision.
The Columbus Dispatch reports the defendants could opt to have the case reviewed by the full appeals court.
The appeals court did affirm the rulings by the district court in the judgments in favor for the city, former Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs and two other officers named in the suit.