Eduard Lopez (2019)

From LEO Ratings

leoratings.com is celebrating our 1-year anniversary of researching incidents involving law enforcement officers in the U.S. We've reported on 277 incidents involving 338 officers from 195 agencies in 42 states. Please help us by following, liking, commenting, retweeting/sharing, and telling a friend to spread the word!

Overview

On September 3, 2019, Fox Valley Wisconsin Metro Police Department Officer Sam Pynenberg picked up the pursuit of a vehicle driven by Lopez, who was wanted for traffic-related offenses.[1] Lopez had been driving erratically.[2]

Lopez led officers on a chase through several communities. Lopez's vehicle spun out in a roundabout and started driving in the direction of multiple law enforcement officers and vehicles.[3]

Pynenberg feared Lopez would kill him by driving at him or harm other officers. Pynenberg shot at Lopez's vehicle, striking him once in the chest and abdomen area.[3]

Lopez died at the hospital.[1]

Pynenberg was placed on paid administrative leave.[4]

Body-worn camera and business surveillance video was reviewed.[1][5]

The District Attorney's Office concluded that Pynenberg's belief that he and other officers were in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm was reasonable and that the use of deadly force was justified. No criminal charges were filed.[6]

On September 2, 2021, Lopez’s family filed suit, claiming Pynenberg used excessive force and violated Lopez's rights under the Fourth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments.[2][7]

On September 29, 2022, the family's lawsuit was dismissed "with prejudice", meaning the suit cannot be refiled. No reason for the dismissal was noted in public court documents.[8]

Video

The dashcam in Pynenberg's vehicle was not functional at the time of the shooting.[9]

Pynenberg's body-worn camera was not activated until after the shooting.[5]

Video released by the Wisconsin Department of Justice

Officers Involved


Official Reports

Additional Sources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Investigative Synopsis Report, Wisconsin Department of Justice
  2. 2.0 2.1 Brian Kerhin, Fox Valley Metro police sued over 2019 shooting death, FOX 11', 2021-09-03
  3. 3.0 3.1 Brian Kerhin, Trial date set in wrongful death lawsuit against Fox Valley Metro police, FOX 11, 2021-11-15
  4. Man killed, officer identified in Fox Valley police shooting, FOX 11, 2019-09-11
  5. 5.0 5.1 Video Files, Wisconsin Department of Justice
  6. DA: Officer justified in Fox Valley police shooting, FOX11', 2019-10-14
  7. Lopez vs FVMPD, United States District Court, 2021-09-02
  8. Brian Kerhin, Wrongful death lawsuit against Fox Valley Metro police dismissed, FOX 11, 2022-09-29
  9. DCI Case Reports, Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation