Woman files suit against Yellow police officer who shot, killed stolen food truck driver | Lubbock Online | Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Woman files suit against Yellow police officer who shot, killed stolen food truck driver | Lubbock Online | Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Woman files suit against Yellow police officer who shot, killed stolen food truck driver | Lubbock Online | Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

Suit cites lack of training for police on whether to fire at drivers

AMARILLO - A woman and child are suing the city of Amarillo and a police officer who shot and killed a stolen food truck driver two years ago

Officer Jowell Bullard killed Flowers, flowers, 32, on Aug. 16, 2010, at Lincoln Street and East Amarillo Boulevard as he drove to Schwan's delivery truck reported stolen several hours earlier. Seven weeks later, a grand jury cleared Bullard of wrongdoing.

The suit says Flowers drove the truck around Amarillo for more than six hours before Bullard and other police began pursuing him. Bullard tried to stop the truck twice with spike strips but Flowers steered around them, the suit says.

Bullard, "infuriated by Flowers' elusiveness, pulled his service revolver and began to foot chase of the vehicle, the suit states. "The shooter defendant attempted to put himself in harm's way in front of Flowers vehicle."

The suit cites a lack of training for police on decisions about whether to fire at drivers. "The lack of training in live shoot / do not shoot scenarios caused the shooter defendant to have the acumen to understand that no existed to allow for the implementation of deadly force," the suit states.

Police guidelines have addressed shoot-or-don't-shoot scenarios for at least two decades. Officers generally are directed to get out of the way of approaching vehicles, if possible.

The suit lists several incidents it says show "deliberate indifference to the civil rights of citizens coming in contact with APD officers" who used deadly force against drivers.

State and federal law allow the use of deadly force if an officer reasonably believes in the time that his or her safety or the safety of the public is threatened.

Flores had served five-year prison term for indecency with a child and pleaded guilty to theft less than a month before his killing, according to court records. The stolen truck was driving about $ 8,000 worth of frozen food.

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