More than 20 months after Cameron Redus was shot and killed by a University of the Incarnate Word police officer in an off-campus traffic stop, the UIW honor student’s parents sat in court Wednesday morning, listening to a UIW attorney argue that the private university should also be considered a “governmental unit” when it comes to law enforcement and therefore not liable under the Texas Tort Claims Act.
In March, a Bexar County grand jury cleared the now former UIW police officer Christopher Carter in the December 2013 fatal shooting but the Redus family’s civil suit against Carter and UIW, filed in May 2014, has yet to officially begin due to several pre-trail motions and appeals filed by UIW.
If successful, UIW could receive immunity from the Redus’ suit and any future litigation brought against it pertaining to its campus police force. Wednesday’s arguments were heard by Fourth Court of Appeals Justices Patricia O. Alvarez, Karen Angelini, and Jason Pulliam. It’s unknown how long they’ll take to issue a ruling, which could take as little as a couple weeks to several months.
“The only thing this appeal (has achieved) is delaying discovery and the lawsuit,” Redus family attorney Brent Perry told reporters after the hearing. Perry said UIW’s various filings of motions and appeals is a stalling tactic.
UIW Chancellor Denise Doyle firmly rejected that notion.
“We are using the law to defend ourselves,” Doyle said. “That is our responsibility.” read more