MIAMI (CBS4) — A Miami-Dade Circuit Judge has ruled the shooting death of an unarmed man six years ago violated his civil rights.

In an unprecedented ruling, Judge William Thomas found that Miami-Dade police officer Carol McKinnon violated the constitutional rights of Rudy Morris when she shot him in the back while he was running away from her.

The shooting took place in June 2005. Morris was approached by two Miami-Dade police officers in a Miami convenience store regarding his connection to a stolen car.

Morris tried to run from Officer McKinnon after she accidentally tasered her partner Officer Guipson Balthazar. McKinnon and Morris collided as he ran toward the front of the store. He was unarmed but Officer McKinnon shot him twice in the back and elbow.

Judge Thomas ruled the use of deadly force was unjustified because Morris did not pose an immediate threat to the officers or to the public. He wrote in his decision, “Officer McKinnon should have known the clearly established law in the State of Florida is you cannot shoot an unarmed suspect in the back while the man is running away… [such conduct is] a violation of the Fourth Amendment.”

A wrongful death suit filed in 2007 by Mary Williams on behalf of her son, Morris, sought money damages against the county and officer Carol McKinnon. But a civil rights claim was added to the complaint by Williams’ attorneys.

The family will continue to seek monetary damages and plans on moving forward with a civil rights complaint against the county, arguing negligent training practices for police, said Attorney Ray Taseff.

McKinnon still works for Miami-Dade police, but she now processes burglary scenes for the Crime Scene Investigations unit.

Comments (5)
  1. P.O'd says:

    Yes, Lets pay this Criminals Family. Let’s see
    Running away toward the store front, what for, maybe pickup a hostage. That’s immediate danger to the innocent person inside.
    Unarmed, so he was naked, no pockets to keep a knife or gun, even now a days a syrange.
    You say, so he stole a car, he shouldn’t have been killed for it, WRONG, he put himself in that place. Don’t be a crook and you most likely not be in that situation.

  2. Hang Fire says:

    What was she doing out of the kitchen?

  3. P.O'd says:

    Yes, Lets pay this Criminals Family (sorry alleged Criminal)
    Let’s see
    Running away toward the store front, what for, maybe pickup a hostage. That’s immediate danger to the innocent person inside.
    Unarmed, so he was naked, no pockets to keep a knife or gun, even now a days a syrange.
    You say, so he stole a car, he shouldn’t have been killed for it, WRONG, he put himself in that place. Don’t be a crook and you most likely not be in that situation.

  4. tiredofcorruption says:

    If you don’t want comments then delete the comments section.

  5. cindy says:

    ok, lets put it this way. a similar situation happened with my brother in law and his friend back in 2004. they were two teens who broke into a home to steal. a police officer arrived at the scene and when the friend was escaping through the window, the police officer shot him 4 times in the back. the kid was not armed, their is sound proof when the kid got shot saying “please dont let me die” and the cop said “this should teach you not to rob.” when back up arrived, the cop tried to convince them to plant a weapon on him, but they refused and then reported it. want to know what happened to the kid, he died. the cop? he stayed on the force and was found guilty of fraud last year. cops need to be better trained and the justice system needs to beef up our laws. those kids werent innocent, but they didnt deserve death either.