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November 21, 2003

Judge: Dismiss suit in deaf man's death

From: WMTW, ME - Nov 21, 2003

PORTLAND (AP) -- A federal magistrate judge is recommending that a lawsuit against Scarborough police and Maine State Police be dismissed in connection with the fatal shooting of a deaf man.

The daughters of 60-year-old James Levier filed the lawsuit earlier this year, arguing that police should have used a sign language interpreter and a non-lethal weapon to subdue their father during a standoff in Scarborough in March 2001. Police shot Levier five times when he appeared to aim a hunting rifle at them.

In his decision, U.S. Magistrate Judge David Cohen wrote that the officers' actions did not show indifference to Levier's rights or represent conduct that could be implied as malicious.

Cohen's recommendation will be forward to a federal judge. The judge will then make the final decision on the case sometime in the weeks ahead.

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