PRINCIPAL OFFICE: DALLAS, TEXAS: (214) 670-9989 | TOLL FREE: (866) 670-9989

Pasadena, Texas Police Officer Shoots and Kills Nathan Alexander Schenk After He Runs a Stop Sign

2012 09 18 18.41.59 scaled

The Pasadena, Texas Police Department filed a custodial death report, November 29, 2018 at 10:11 a.m., regarding the death of Nathan Alexander Schenk.  Mr. Schenk was only 34 years of age at the time of his death.  All factual information in this post was obtained from that custodial death report.

At approximately 7:32 p.m., on November 21, 2018, in Pasadena, Texas, a Pasadena police officer stopped Mr. Schenk while Mr. Schenk was operating a vehicle.  The police officer stopped Mr. Schenk only because he had allegedly run a stop sign.  The summary portion of the report does not indicate that Mr. Schenk committed any other alleged crime at or before that time.

Before the police officer could inform Mr. Schenk as to why he stopped him, Mr. Schenk fled the scene on foot.  The officer pursued Mr. Schenk on foot, telling him to stop.  The summary in the report does not indicate that, to that point, Mr. Schenk had been accused of doing anything other than running a stop sign.  When Mr. Schenk did not stop, the officer chose to shoot his Taser at Mr. Schenk.  The Taser had no effect, and Mr. Schenk continued to flee.

The law enforcement officer then deployed his Taser a second time, causing Mr. Schenk to fall to the ground.  Once again, to this point, the summary in the report does not indicate that Mr. Schenk had done anything violent, had displayed a weapon, had threatened anyone, had committed any felony, and/or was a threat to any other person.  Instead, the only thing that the report summary listed was that Mr. Schenk had run a stop sign.

The Pasadena police officer then jumped onto Mr. Schenk in an attempt to subdue him and place handcuffs onto him.  Mr. Schenk resisted being handcuffed and attempted to once again flee the Pasadena, Texas police officer.  During the struggle, and Mr. Schenk’s attempt to flee the Pasadena police officer, the police officer chose to pull his firearm and fire at Mr. Schenk.  The report summary does not indicate that Mr. Schenk had done anything wrong to this point other than run a stop sign, flee the officer, and attempt not to be handcuffed and once again flee the officer.  The police officer’s bullets struck Mr. Schenk three times, and Mr. Schenk died at the scene only approximately 17 minutes after the incident.  The report ends with the sentence, “No weapon was found on the driver.”

We make no allegation of any wrongdoing against anyone in this post, but are simply providing information.  However, generally speaking, certain family members of a person who is shot and killed by a police officer might have claims against a shooting police officer and/or his or her employer pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983.  42 U.S.C. § 1983 is a statute which allows people to sue for constitutional violations.  The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits police officers from using excessive force. The United States Supreme Court has held that, when determining whether force is excessive, a court should look at all the facts and circumstances.  Moreover, courts in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, as well as Supreme Court cases, have determined that only certain occurrences justify the use of deadly force.  If a person is successful bringing such constitutional claims, which are typically brought in federal court, then a court or jury can award damages, attorneys’ fees, and court costs.

Written By: author image Dean Malone
author image Dean Malone
Dean Malone is the founder of Law Offices of Dean Malone, P.C., a jail neglect civil rights law firm. Mr. Malone earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Texas at Dallas, graduating summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA, and from Baylor University School of Law with a general civil litigation concentration. Mr. Malone served in several staff positions for the Baylor Law Review, including executive editor. Mr. Malone is an experienced trial lawyer, trying a number of cases to jury verdict and also handling arbitrations through final hearing. He heads the jail neglect section of his law firm, in which lawyers litigate cases involving serious injury and death resulting from jail neglect and abuse. Lawyers frequently refer cases to Mr. Malone due to his focus on this very complicated civil rights practice area.