Officer at center of Fong Lee shooting fired from department

  • Article by: VINCE TUSS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 16, 2009 - 11:09 PM

A Minneapolis police officer at the center of controversy after fatally shooting 19-year-old Fong Lee in 2006 has been fired, a department spokesman said Wednesday.

"After an internal investigation, officer Jason Andersen was terminated late this afternoon," Sgt. Jesse Garcia said Wednesday night.

Garcia did not give further information. Andersen, 32, and his lawyer Fred Bruno could not be reached for comment late Wednesday.

In May, a federal jury hearing a wrongful-death suit filed by Lee's family decided that Andersen acted within the law.

In court, the argument hinged on whether Andersen reasonably believed Lee was armed and feared for his life. Lee's family argued that Andersen used excessive force when he shot Lee eight times during a foot chase.

In July, attorneys for Lee's family appealed the federal court civil verdict to the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Andersen was also cleared by a Hennepin County grand jury of any criminal wrongdoing in Lee's death.

This month, a misdemeanor domestic assault charge against Andersen in Sherburne County was dropped.

Andersen was suspended in June with pay after the count of fifth-degree domestic assault was filed. A female involved in the incident was also charged with misdemeanor assault, which was later dismissed.

At the time, prosecutors said the charge against Andersen was dismissed because of insufficient evidence to proceed to trial. Bruno said then: "We are hopeful that the city of Minneapolis respects this decision and returns officer Andersen to the streets of Minneapolis. He and our citizens deserve no less."

Vince Tuss • 612-673-7692

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