A federal lawsuit filed Thursday in the case of a Kenosha man shot and killed by a police officer two years ago claims the officer failed to follow proper procedure and that the police department itself is negligent because it's hiring and training practices aren't up to snuff.
In addition, the 68-page document claims that the officer---Pablo Torres--was fired from his last job as a Winthrop Harbor police officer for "being too quick to draw his gun." The suit does not cite a source.
The shooting of 26 year-old Aaron Siler occurred after Torres cornered Siler in an auto body shop following both a vehicle and foot pursuit. Siler had been wanted for a probation violation.
The shooting was ruled justifiable by former Kenosha County District Attorney Robert Zapf because Torres believed Siler had armed himself with a pipe. It turned out that the 'pipe' was a bucket.
The incident occurred on Torres' first day back on the job following an incident that occurred several weeks earlier in which Torres shot and wounded a man who had armed himself with a knife.
In the Siler case, the lawsuit alleges that Torres' decision to release his police dog to chase after Siler untended was a violation of department policy. It also claims that Torres failed to try to de-escalate the situation before drawing his gun and shooting.
The suit also claims that the police department is negligent for failing to have its officer-candidates undergo psychological testing, and for tolerating misconduct by some of its officers. The suit cites a number of cases, and concludes that the police department has "a long, tragic history of a widespread pattern of constitutional rights violations."
Plaintiffs include Siler's daughter.
Messages left for a Kenosha Police Dept. spokesman and the attorney who is believed to represent Torres were not immediately returned.