Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Dan Polster released an order that allows the estate of Brian Garber to proceed to trial against Richland County Deputies Raymond Frazier, James Nicholson, and Andrew Knee, who shot and killed him, according to a news release from the attorneys representing Brian Garber's estate.
According to the same release, on March 16, 2014, "Brian Garber, an unarmed man in the midst of a mental health crisis, was shot and killed by three Richland County Sheriff s Deputies at his family home just outside of Mansfield."
Also according to the attorneys' news release, "The three deputies have testified that they shot Brian Garber after they heard a pop, which sounded like a gunshot, and which they insisted came from Brian's direction. But Brian was unarmed when he was shot and clearly did not fire a weapon at the deputies."
In his decision, Polster said, in part, that the court was "in the unusual situation where the testimony of all three deputies involved in the deadly shooting contradicts the objective facts of the event."
Polster added, in part, that a "court may not simply accept what may be a self-serving account by" law enforcement officers in the aftermath of a deadly shooting.
"It is unconstitutional and a violation of fundamental rights for law enforcement officers to use deadly force against individuals who do not pose an imminent threat of serious bodily harm or death to others," stated Jacqueline Greene, partner at the Cleveland law firm of Friedman & Gilbert, and one of the attorneys representing Garber's estate.
"Plaintiff contends that these deputies testified that they did not feel that Brian posed an imminent threat of serious bodily harm or death prior to this alleged popping sound," Greene said.
The estate of Brian Garber is represented by Terry Gilbert and Jacqueline Greene of Friedman & Gilbert and by Chance Douglas and W. Andrew Hoffman, III of the Hoffman Legal Group.
Read Polster's opinion and order below: