August 31, 2017

Tom Hale successfully defended an Alabama city and one of its police officers in a lawsuit arising from the officer’s pursuit of a criminal suspect driving a stolen vehicle.

A BOLO was issued that the suspect was traveling toward the city. A short time later, the suspect was seen driving in the city at a high rate of speed and violating multiple other laws. The subject officer began pursuing the suspect, but the suspect refused to stop and, instead, increased his speed and the distance between himself and the officer. The suspect eventually rounded a curve on the wrong side of the road and collided head-on with another vehicle. The driver of the other vehicle and his passenger were seriously injured in the accident.

The driver and passenger of the other vehicle filed suit against the police officer and the city claiming that the officer should have terminated his pursuit of the suspect because the continued pursuit “pushed” the suspect to continue his reckless behavior causing the collis...

August 31, 2017

On behalf of an Alabama police officer, Terry Sides won a wrongful death case in federal court. Late one night, witnesses observed the plaintiff’s decedent with a “BB gun” or similar weapon firing shots into vehicles in the parking lot of an apartment complex where the decedent lived. When the police arrived, they repeatedly knocked on the front door of the decedent’s apartment and announced their presence, but the decedent (even though he was inside the apartment) ignored the officers. A short while later, as the officers were about to leave the scene after their unsuccessful efforts to talk to him, the decedent fled out the rear door of his apartment, ran to his car, armed himself with a box cutter knife, and began advancing on the officers in a threatening manner and with his knife pointed at them. The officers made repeated and loud verbal commands to the decedent that he stop and put down his knife, but he ignored the officers’ commands and kept coming at them, even as the officer...

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