Lawsuit that blames law enforcement for murder of woman can go forward

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Captain Mark Contreras turned the gun on him after shooting Bascom.

Lawyer Laura Schauer Ives says police repeatedly mismanaged domestic violence investigations involving Contreras and Bascom because Contreras was a fellow officer.

Police reports showed a history of abuse. An officer wrote: “Nicki looked beaten up. Another report called domestic violence a “permanent problem”.

At one point, reports show that the Silver City Police Chief referred Bascom to a battered women’s shelter, but Contreras knew where he was.

“There is no doubt in this case that Nicki was unprotected and had no chance because her attacker was another police officer,” Schauer Ives said.

Schauer Ives took legal action against Silver City and a number of officers on behalf of Bascom’s estate, alleging they had failed to provide him with equal police protection.

Two officers argued that they should not be prosecuted because of qualified immunity. A district court judge denied their request, but the police appealed.

Earlier this week, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s ruling, saying “a reasonable jury could find their conduct violated Ms Bascom’s clearly established right to equal protection of the law.” .

This is a great victory for the Bascom family.

“It means we can, the family is able to go to trial and the case can move forward,” Schauer Ives said.

Ives points out that officers can appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, but for now, Bascom’s family plan to move forward with the case that has been stalled for years. .

“They are extremely grateful for the future, and they will fight to make sure that no other family has this kind of nightmare,” Schauer Ives said.


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