Three years after a Knoxville police officer shot an unarmed man in the back six times and killed him, an appellate court has determined that the officer is not eligible for qualified immunity in the $3 million civil rights lawsuit he is facing.
The incident occurred during a stop on the side of the road when Officer David Gerlach encountered Ronald E. Carden, a 45-year-old man who was recently released on parole. It ended with Gerlach shooting Carden multiple times in the back, and then proceeding to shoot him as he was falling to the ground. The horrific incident now serves to illustrate that not only did police lie about what happened, they covered it up, and refused to bring charges against an officer who should have likely been charged with homicide.
Carden's son, Brandon, is suing Gerlach and the Knoxville Police Department for $3 million in a federal civil rights lawsuit. He recently won a small victory in court when an appellate judge refused to grant qualified immunity to Gerlach. The court ruled that not only did case law not sustain that the shooting was justified, but they denied Gerlach's claim of immunity from prosecution.