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 October 22, 2003
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Judge releases officers from Young lawsuit
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- The two officers who shot and killed a Providence police sergeant more than three years ago have been dismissed officially from a lawsuit filed by the slain policeman�s mother.

U.S. District Court Judge Mary Lisi formally entered in court records the removal of Michael Solitro and Carlos Saraiva from Leisa Young�s civil suit. She had agreed with the request from the plaintiffs last week, according to a broadcast report.

The city of Providence, the police department and two former police chiefs remain as defendants, The Providence Journal reported.

Leisa Young argues her son�s civil rights were violated when Cornel Young Jr., who�s black, was slain by two white officers in January 2000 while Young was breaking up a fight outside a diner.  Young was in plainclothes and off-duty at the time. He drew his weapon during the disturbance, too.

Saraiva and Solitro were cleared by a state grand jury of criminal wrongdoing. They also were cleared of federal civil-rights violations by the U.S. Attorney�s office.

Among her charges, Leisa Young accuses the police of failing to properly train its officers.

The plaintiffs requested the officers be dropped from the case after they sought to be tried separately from the other defendants.  Robert Mann, Young�s attorney, would not comment on their decision.

The case is expected to go forward in two parts. The first will deal with the shooting itself, the judge decided, since Leisa Young�s claims �thoroughly depend� on a finding that Cornel Young Jr.�s constitutional rights were violated when he was shot. If the plaintiffs prevail, there will be a second phase dealing with municipal liability issues.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Oct. 7.


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