Attorney weighs in on possible legal action against Madison County deputies following Ray King shooting investigation

WAFF 48's D'Quan Lee reporting
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 7:08 PM CST
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HAZEL GREEN, Ala. (WAFF) - New details are emerging following a 10-month investigation into the deputy-involved shooting death of a Hazel Green man back in January.

Ray King was killed after Madison County Deputies say he pointed a gun at them while they were responding to a domestic violence.

King was shot and killed January 5th. Madison County deputies were at his house by mistake, responding to a domestic violence call with shots fired that actually happened next door.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Friday that the deputies involved in the shooting were cleared to return to work less than a month after the shooting. This was the first we were told about the deputies’ employment status.

The Madison County District Attorney stated that the deputies involved in the shooting will not be charged for King’s death.

WAFF 48 News asked a spokesperson with the sheriff’s office why we only just received this information today after months of asking and we were told it was because the investigation was still ongoing.

WAFF 48 News spoke with Attorney Bart Siniard about those deputies’ possible civil liability. He pointed to a recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling that shows deputies are heavily protected by their qualified immunity.

“State officers such as sheriff deputies are entitled to immunitty in most situations but there are exceptions when a claim is brought against them in their individual capacity,” he said. “If you can show the officer acted in bad faith or maliciously or willfully, you can still win a claim against that government official so it’s not a complete blanket immunity. There are exceptions but proving those exceptions can be very difficult.”

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