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R.I. jury rejects suit by family of officer killed by colleagues

Associated Press Writer

PROVIDENCE, R.I.- A federal jury Friday found that the city police department did not violate the civil rights of a black officer shot to death by two white colleagues who mistook him for a suspect.

Sgt. Cornel Young Jr., 29, was off duty and in plain clothes in 2000 when he was killed outside a diner as ran to respond to a fight.

The shooting sparked charges of racism in the police department.

The verdict came after a monthlong trial that centered on whether the department properly trained Officer Michael Solitro, one of the officers who shot Young. Solitro had been on the force for eight days, and Young's mother claimed the department did not adequately train him to recognize off-duty or plainclothes officers.

The jury began deliberating Wednesday afternoon.

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