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Port of San Diego Close to Settling Wrongful Death Case

The biggest question at play in the shooting death of a San Diego man, who was shot in the back while resisting arrest by two harbor police, was whether or not the officers used excessive force as they attempted to subdue the man. The man's family accused harbor police of doing so and filed a wrongful death suit against the Unified Port of San Diego.

It started when the 37-year-old, S. Hirschfield, leapt off of a party boat and into the water of the San Diego harbor. Harbor police were sent to retrieve him and, upon reaching Hirschfield, struggled to get him into the boat and under control.

At one point, the two men had Hirschfield pinned down and, according to the officers, Hirschfield reached for one of the one officer's handgun. It was then that the second officer fired the fatal round into Hirschfield's back.

The man's parents filed a wrongful death suit and, more than two years after their son's death, the Port of San Diego reached a tentative agreement with them. While the city port has agreed to settle, as Dana Littlefield reports in the San Diego Union-Tribune, the District Attorney's Office has decided not to file a lawsuit against the officer.

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