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Monday, January 24, 2022

Court of Appeals restores civil suit against Chico over Tyler Rushing’s death

CHICO – The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision Monday that restored a civil suit between the family of Tyler Rushing and the city of Chico.

Rushing was shot by a security guard and later by a Chico police officer on July 23, 2017. He died of wounds.

Tyler Rushing’s father, Scott Rushing, filed a civil suit against the city of Chico as well as the Chico Police Department and Armed Guard Private Security.

A state judge later dismissed the case and it fell through. Monday’s decision has reopened the civil suit meaning it will go ahead.

Scott Rushing issued a statement following the recent decision.

“Overall, the ruling is a victory for Tyler. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals restored a civil suit against the city of Chico and its police officers arising out of the death of Tyler Rushing. Tyler was already badly injured. After the authorities used a teaser to end his life.

According to the court memorandum, the decision was due to evidence supporting Scott Rushing’s side, however, the court agreed to fragment of the previous dismissal regarding gunshots and dog bites.

Notably, the court ruled that neither was fired by a police sergeant. Scott Rupel may be considered an excessive force by a proper jury. The same decision was made by the Butte County Sheriff’s Office regarding the use of the K-9.

“First, taking the events in sequence, a proper jury could not find that the initial dog bite or Ruppel’s first shot was inappropriate given the ‘threat of serious bodily harm’ that Rushing presented, Going to validate the court document reads, second shot too.

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The use of a stun gun by Chico Police Officer Alex Flihr was determined to be potentially excessive after Tyler Rushing was shot and lying on the ground.

“We conclude that there remain substantive issues of material fact that may prompt an appropriate jury to find that Fliehr’s stabbing of Rushing infringes on Rushing’s authority,” the document read.

Fliehr as well as former Police Sergeant Scott Rappel, who led the scene, and the city of Chico may still be tried in a civil lawsuit.

Scott Rushing said the appellate court ruled that “the use of force was excessive and unreasonable.”

“Along with the federal excessive force claim, the appellate court also reinstated all state law claims against Chico Police officers, the Chico Police Department, and the City of Chico,” said Scott Rushing.

Scott Rushing said he is working with his legal team to develop a strategy for the trial.

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said Thursday that he had previously determined that the officers involved in the shooting were not criminally guilty but could not yet comment on Monday’s ruling.

Chico City Attorney Vincent Ewing and the Chico Police Department declined to comment on the matter.

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