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Full Defense Victory in SWAT Team Shootout Case Garners Media Attention

On Jan. 14, 2014, deputies responded to a shots fired call in Victorville. The armed suspect led deputies on a chase, during which he pointed a firearm at the deputies in an attempt to elude capture. The chase ended with the suspect crashing his own car, fleeing on foot, and barricading himself into a home. Members of the of the San Bernardino County sheriff’s SWAT team were called in, as the suspect was deemed armed and barricaded.

The San Bernardino Sun reports:

At the end of the nearly five-hour standoff, Rodarte emerged from the home yelling at deputies. With a beer can in one hand, he quickly put his other hand into the pocket of a poncho he was wearing and raised it—simulating a handgun—toward deputies.

Believing lives were in danger, deputies fired on the man. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Family members of the decedent filed suit, claiming wrongful death and that his civil rights had been violated. The defense argued that based the totality of circumstances the deputies faced that evening, their actions were justified.

The trial lasted eleven days in federal court, and involved nearly 30 witnesses.

On Monday, March 27, 2017, the Manning & Kass Governmental Entity Liability Team, led by Gene Ramirez, secured a full defense victory on behalf of six members of the San Bernardino County sheriff’s SWAT team.  

Marty Holly, a partner in the firm's Los Angeles office, and Kayleigh McGuinness, an associate, worked alongside Mr. Ramirez.


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