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$950,000 Settlement in Wisconsin Police Shooting of Handcuffed Man

In May 2007, Wisconsin officials agreed to pay $950,000 to the family of a man who was shot in the head while handcuffed.

In October of 2004, city of Portage police received information that Keith Galster, a convicted felon, had threatened an informant with a gun and had drugs in his home. Police obtained a search warrant.

After luring Galster outside and arresting him, Portage police attempted to execute the search warrant, but a number of Galster’s dogs worried them. The police asked Galster to secure the dogs. While attempting to secure the dogs, a struggle between Galster and four officers ensued. Galster was shot in the right temple in the process.

Galster’s family sued the police alleging excessive force. The police attempted to justify Galster’s death, arguing that Galster shot himself in the head while his hands were handcuffed behind his back. The city of Portage then decided to settle for $950,000. Galster’s family was represented by Robert Gingrus and Paul Kinne of Gingrus, Cates and, Luebke of Madison, Wisconsin. See: Estate of Galster v. Thompson, Case No. 05C-673 (Law Bulletin Pub.- Wis. Jury Verdicts).

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Related legal case

Estate of Galster v. Thompson