FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECIV
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2000(202) 616-2777
WWW.USDOJ.GOVTDD (202) 514-1888
UNITED STATES SETTLES RUBY RIDGE CASE FILED BY KEVIN HARRIS
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department today resolved the last remaining civil suit stemming from a week-long standoff in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, more than eight years ago.
The suit filed by Kevin Harris sought damages for injuries Harris sustained as a result of a gunshot during the incident, which began on August 21,1992 at the home of Randall Weaver.
In 1991, Weaver, who had been charged with firearms related offenses, was indicted for failure to appear at his trial. The following year, the case was referred to the U.S. Marshals who sought to convince Weaver to surrender. Instead of surrendering, Weaver remained on his property along with his wife and children, and their friend, Kevin Harris.
On August 21, 1992, while U.S. Marshals were surveilling the Weaver property, an exchange of gunfire occurred which resulted in the death of Deputy Marshal William Degan and Weaver's son Samuel. On the second day of the standoff, Harris was shot and wounded by an FBI sniper, who believed Harris represented a threat to other law enforcement agents.
In his suit, Harris alleged, among other things, that individual U.S. Marshals and FBI personnel violated his constitutional rights. Harris has dismissed those claims. Harris also sought monetary damages from the United States. Under today's settlement, the United States will pay $380,000 in exchange for dismissal of those claims. The settlement does not constitute an admission of liability by the U.S. or any of its officers or employees.
"This settlement resolves this long pending case in a way that is fair to the United States and all involved," said David Ogden, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division.
Earlier this year, a federal appeals court upheld a lower court ruling that dismissed criminal charges against the FBI sniper who fired the shot that wounded Harris.
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