Appeals Court: UIW Can Be Sued Over Redus Shooting

A state appeals court ruled today that the family of a student who was shot dead by a University of the Incarnate Word police officer in 2013 can sue the university for damages, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Cameron Redus was shot to death by police officer Christopher Carter in a confrontation outside Redus' apartment in December of 2013. 

UIW had argued that since Officer Carter, who is no longer employed by UIW, is a state trained and licensed officer, the University police department enjoys the same 'sovereign immunity' that government agencies enjoy, which makes it far more difficult to file and win lawsuits.

The appeals court upheld a lower court ruling rejecting UIW's claim." Because law enforcement is uniquely governmental, the function the Legislature has authorized UIW to perform and the way the Legislature has authorized UIW to perform it indicate that UIW is a governmental unit as to that function," the University argued.

UIW, of course, is a Catholic institution." We are excited to get the ruling, its a turning point for us," Redus family attorney Brent Perry said.  "Its been a long three years."

The court, in a unanimous ruling, said 'We disagree with UIW that finding its police department to be a governmental unit is consistent with the purposes of sovereign immunity. The purposes of sovereign immunity is not impacted in this case."

UIW may appeal the ruling to the Texas Supreme Court.

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