This lawsuit is filed under Colorado’s open records laws. It seeks disclosure of Castle Rock police department records related to the conduct of a police officer.  The officer put innocent civilians in danger in February, 2013, when he fired multiple shots from a semi-automatic rifle at the vehicle of an unarmed fleeing burglary suspect. The Plaintiffs, Michael and Susan Cardella, were sitting inside their parked car when it was hit by one of the officer’s stray bullets.

According to the lawsuit, the officer fired at the suspect’s approaching SUV, then turned while continuing to discharge his rifle and continued firing at the rear of the vehicle as it drove away. The line of fire included not only the Cardellas’ car, but also a nearby school, a shopping center, offices, and parking lots.

The lawsuit asserts that Castle Rock has failed to justify its refusal to disclose internal investigations into the officer’s conduct as well as additional documents detailing the circumstances.

After a hearing, the district court denied the ACLU's request for disclosure.

ACLU news release:


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Matthew J. Douglas; Jeffrey Graves; Joseph Phillips; Mark Silverstein, ACLU of Colorado Legal Director; Rebecca Wallace, ACLU of Colorado Staff Attorney