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Calif. officers not liable for '03 shooting

By Bob Egelko
The San Francisco Chronicle

SAN FRANCISCO — California Highway Patrol officers who arrested a drunken driver and left his two passengers in a deserted San Francisco parking lot at 3:30 a.m. aren't responsible for a shooting a few minutes later that killed one passenger and wounded the other, a state appeals court has ruled.

Eighteen-year-old Brendan Burke, who survived the July 2003 shooting, and the mother of Robert Ramirez, 24, who was killed, sued the CHP for negligence, saying the officers put the two young men in danger by abandoning them in an Ingleside district neighborhood known as a high-crime area.

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