Federal judge throws out former high school baseball star’s lawsuit against Bellaire

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by Jeremy Desel / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on April 2, 2012 at 11:07 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 3 at 10:39 AM

HOUSTON—One of the federal lawsuits filed by the former Bellaire High School baseball star who was shot by police has been thrown out.

Robbie Tolan was shot in his own driveway by a Bellaire police officer in December of 2008.

"Whenever I lift up my shirt and I got that ugly scar and it’s just a constant reminder of that night," Tolan told KHOU 11 News in 2010.

In May of that year, Bellaire Police Sergeant Jeffrey Cotton was found not guilty of aggravated assault in connection with the shooting.

Now Tolan’s federal civil rights lawsuit against the officers who were there that night has also been thrown out.

"I just want to cry. My heart hurts," Tolan said in a statement.

Tolan’s attorney, Geoff Berg, was downplaying the decision Monday.

"The ruling that was based on the two officers that was based on a technicality will almost certainly be appealed," he said.

It is not the only case.

There are two civil rights cases, and both are moving through the federal courts.

"The case against the City of Bellaire remains pending," Berg said.

Federal Judge Mellisa Harmon essentially dismissed the Tolans’ case against the officers, suggesting they are protected by qualified immunity.

That is a part of federal law which protects police officers from civil actions if they are found to have been adequately performing their jobs.

 

 

 

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