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Federal Court Rules East Haven Not Liable in Malik Jones Death (DOCUMENT)

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York has found the town is not liable in the 1997 fatal shooting of Malik Jones by an East Haven Police officer, according to an Associated Press report.

Update at 10 a.m. on Thursday

Video of reaction to the federal appeals court ruling from East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr and town attorneys — as well as David Rosen, the attorney for Malik Jones' mother Emma Jones — has .

Update at 12:30 p.m.

In today's ruling finding the town not liable for Malik Jones' death, the federal appeals court did make note it was well aware of the into the East Haven Police Department for , as well as the by a federal grand jury for alleged civil rights abuses.

In their decision the justices wrote:

"Our ruling on this appeal should not be taken as expressing any view of this court on the question whether the Town of East Haven or its police department discriminated in any way against minorities. A federal appellate court makes no assessment of the true facts. Our court has no investigative authority and does not find facts. It reviews only the record created by the parties in the course of trial. We conclude, for reasons expressed below, that the Plaintiff’s evidence presented at trial was insufficient as a matter of law to establish liability of the Town by reason of a custom, policy, or usage of discrimination or of indifference to discrimination. Whether that is because there is no real discrimination or indifference, or because Plaintiff has simply failed to discover and present evidence of it, is beyond the competence of this court. Our ruling assesses only the sufficiency of the evidence presented at the trial – not the true facts."

Update at 12:15 p.m

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling has been attached to this article.

Update at 11:45 a.m.

East Haven has just released a press release stating the mayor — along with Town Attorney Joseph Zullo and Assistant Town Attorney Hugh Keefe — will hold a press conference at later this afternoon to discuss the findings of the federal appeals court regarding the .

The talk with the media will begin at 3:30 p.m.

East Haven Patch will be posting updates from this afternoon's press conference via Facebook and Twitter.

Original Story

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York has ruled the Town of East Haven is not liable in the 1997 fatal shooting of by an East Haven Police officer, according to an Associated Press report.

The decision, which overturns a lower court's ruling on October 2010 that , was released Wednesday by the federal appeals court.

The AP reported that the 2nd Circuit "found the evidence was insufficient to hold the town liable."

A federal jury awarded $900,000 to the estate of Malik Jones in October 2010, 13 years after a former officer, Robert Flodquist, chased him into New Haven and then shot the 21-year-old dead at close range. Jones was unarmed at the time.

Flodquist later said Jones gave him a "go to Hell" look, and the car may have been slowly rolling backwards, so he thought his life was at risk.

After both the the state's attorney and the the U.S. Department of Justice chose not to pursue criminal charges against the East Haven Police regarding the incident, Malik Jones' mother, , filed a federal lawsuit against the town claiming the police had violated her son's civil rights. In her suit, she argued that the incident was part of a pattern of discriminatory practices by the East Haven Police Department.

Although the initial court decision on the case ruled against the town in Jones' favor — awarding the family $2.5 million in damages — the jury made a technical error. It awarded punitive damages instead of compensatory damages.

Under federal law, a municipality can only be held liable for compensatory damages. So the judge, Alvin W. Thompson, ordered a new trial — not on the guilty verdict — but on whether to award compensatory damages. That second jury found in Jones' favor, awarding the $900,000 in damages.

The Town of East Haven then of that decision, which is what the federal court decided upon in today's ruling.

East Haven Patch will have additional updates as this story continues to develop.

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Julie Weisberg (Editor) August 01, 2012 at 04:17 PM
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on the Jones vs Town of East Haven case has been posted to this article. Just an FYI.
Tommy Gambardella August 01, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Jones is looking for a pay day. The town should fight hard so that "woman" can get anymore money for her son's stupidity. Give it a rest and live your life and get into 2012!
Tommy Gambardella August 01, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Sorry for the typo ** The town should fight hard so that "woman" can NOT get anymore money for her son's stupidity.
Norm Brody August 01, 2012 at 05:13 PM
So, does this mean its over, or are more appeals possible? Can this go to the U.S. Supreme Court because it was a federal suit?
Lise Cavallaro August 01, 2012 at 05:20 PM
one can only hope its over.
Rosie August 01, 2012 at 06:12 PM
I agree. This kid was a career criminal. It had nothing to do with race...it had to do with getting another criminal off the streets. Too bad this mother didn't put as much effort into raising her child right as she did in trying to get money from everyone and anyone. She should hang her head in shame. Wht happened was not the police's fault, they were doing their job. What happened was her son's fault for not respecting the law. Plain and simple. Guess she will have to get a job now.
David Shultis August 01, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Yes Ms. Jones, "Justice did prevail"....
Patrick Madley August 01, 2012 at 07:08 PM
I am glad the court found how it did. The town is not nor was ever liable in this case. The officer did what he had to do to stay safe. This kid was a criminal anyway.
Justice prevailed...The Officer properly did his job and Mrs.Jones needs to move forward.
Norm Brody August 01, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Mr. Hoff, on a different subject, re: your area of expertise, how can I get in touch with you?
John Doe August 01, 2012 at 11:54 PM
I guess the race card didn't work this time...Get a job Mrs Jones
ASmith August 02, 2012 at 12:30 AM
sounds like the justices wanted to make sure all folks knew this ruling has nothing to do with the latino situation. sure hopes the zullo puts a muzzle on Mayor Jo(k)e during the press conferences so nothing stupid is said.
Ann Della Camera August 02, 2012 at 04:07 AM
Put a lid on it ASmith, be happy the town finally got a fair shake. Perhaps now others will think twice that our town is not such an easy mark after all. Please give it a rest, its over, its done, and Mrs. Jones will have to get a job.
Dan McCann August 02, 2012 at 12:23 PM
http://www.easthavenvine.blogspot.com/2012/08/malik-jones-case-is-baseline-for-doj.html
Rosie August 02, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Mr. McCann, you have once again created a beautifully written article, filled with the truth, and echoing so many of my own sentiments. I thank you, once again, for telling it like it is. I always look forward to more of your fact based articles.
Peter T. Cianelli August 02, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Great Article Dan McCann...... I'm so excited for our Police Dept. & our Town now that the Liberal Left Race Card Game #1 is over...... Next will be the Manship & Latino Race Card Game #2.... that EHPD & Town of East Haven will win !!! We all can sit back now and be amused by the Liberal Dem's Pin Headed comments that will start bashing Maturo & The EHPD !!!!
CAjones August 02, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Me and Mrs. Jones........... We got a thing goin on, lost a law suit to the Town. We both knew it was wrong, cuz the case wasn't strong, so now it's all coolin down now........ We tried to be extra careful that we didn't build our hopes too high Cause she's got her own obligations and so do I. Me, me and Mrs., Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones We lost a law suit to the Town, We both knew that it's wrong, cuz the case wasn't strong so now it's all coolin down........ Well, it's time for us to be leaving, It hurts so much, it hurts so much inside, Now she'll go her way and I'll go mine, But someday we'll meet the some place, the some time. Me and Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Jones. we just kept it going on......... (BY: "the Attorneys" on Justice Records)
Bob Fawkes August 02, 2012 at 07:16 PM
A young man, going down the wrong side of life, is shot and killed by a police officer. A police officer, fearing for his life, makes a decision to shoot; a decision no officer ever wants to make. A mother loses her son. A town is dragged through years of costly litigation. A cavone makes light of the entire situation, not once but twice, in two Patch articles. There is nothing funny or amusing about this; except for cavones who don't know any better. One day we will all be called before our God and we will have to answer to our actions and deeds, good and bad. May God forgive your stupidity and have mercy on you...
CAjones August 02, 2012 at 07:46 PM
A "Criminal" was shot for trying to use his car as a weapon. A Mother was convinced her "little boy" could not have been the person everyone else knew he was. A Lawyer twisted the truth for monetary gain!!! Your DAMN right I'm "amused" they failed! Just like those who come next will fail.... "the truth WILL set you free".......you fool!
Doreen Boudreau Hausler August 02, 2012 at 07:48 PM
"Liberal Dem's Pin Headed comments". Interesting. I would think that simply respecting differing opinions and letting the facts speak for themselves would be the proper thing to "sit back" and wait for. It's nice to know though, how you view people with opposing viewpoints. Opinions are just that. They are opinions. Mr. McCann and everyone else, is entitled to their own. I do find it astounding that rather than simply state that you agree with Mr. McCann, you appear gleeful and insulting assuming presumptuously that there is nothing at all wrong in East Haven worth the DOJ investigating. I disagree. However, I would never call anyone a name over disagreeing with their viewpoint. This is not a game. And, there are no winners or losers. There is truth. There is correct behavior. There are facts. In the end, facts and truth will prevail, whatever the outcome. Mrs. Jones lost her son. She lost this case. So be it. Let the facts speak for themselves. Let's not lose sight of the fact that she did lose her child. While I'm sure based on facts that have come out, he was committing a crime and was no angel... That fact, I hope everyone can agree with, is sad. Not something to be "excited" about. Oh, and... I'm not a "Dem". I just felt the need to respond to your shameful post. I guess I'd be one of those liberal pinheads.
Peter T. Cianelli August 03, 2012 at 02:51 AM
Ms Hausler..... thank you for once again amusing me with your liberal left comments.... and yes, I believe the DOJ & Eric Holder came into our Town... and so many other Towns & States in our Country for the purpose of implementing fundelmental change in our American Freedoms... They should be investigatng themselves for ... the Fast & Furious Scandal... The New Black Panther Party....the 20,000,000 illegal aliens who came to America ILLEGALLY !!!!!... Now, do you think I think you are a Pinhead ????
Bob Fawkes August 03, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Peter, by your comments you show the world that you are a pinhead. A delusional one at that. Take your Lithium and go lie down.
Doreen Boudreau Hausler August 03, 2012 at 12:01 PM
Mr. Cianelli, it's quite sad to me that you completely missed my points. Telling, actually. While you sit back "amused", the rest of us will move forward and wait for facts to come out.
Peter T. Cianelli August 03, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Jacobo Arbenz ( Former EH Cop) You continue to hide behind a Communist Name... Your ignorance & arrogance= Coward !
Bob Fawkes August 03, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Former? Don't you worry about me, Viejo. Turn your radio on and get your daily dose of Limbaugh Mindflush.
ASmith August 04, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Guess its not over. That little Irish Guy can buy hisself a vacation island on our tax dollars. Wonder jes how much in legal fees the police department has cost us over the last 20 years? Sure hope this new chief brings things in line. Can't afford any more lawsuits, or the state will be a runnin this town.
DisgruntledInClinton August 04, 2012 at 07:46 PM
This is police officers being tried by the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman type of media. And someone is $$$ profiting from it.

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