Wrongful Death Ruling Appealed Amid East Bay Officer Allegations

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Norman Wielsch, Contra Costa Narcotics Enforcement Team CNET commander

Norman Wielsch, former Commander of the Central Contra Costa Narcotics Enforcement Team (CBS)

PITTSBURG (AP) — Criminal allegations against an East Bay narcotics officer have prompted an appeal of a judge’s ruling that Pittsburg police were justified in opening fire on a man in 2008.

The appeal filed by the family of Timothy Wayne Mitchell Jr. cites testimony in support of the shooting by Norman Wielsch, who has been charged with stealing drugs from evidence lockers. Wielsch has pleaded not guilty.

Attorneys for the Mitchell family say Wielsch’s credibility has been badly damaged. The appeal is before the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mitchell was fatally shot by officer Les Galer on March 11, 2008.  His family filed a wrongful death suit that also named Wielsch as a defendant.

A federal judge ruled that Galer had reason to fear for his life when he opened fire.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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