Lawsuit filed in shooting of off-duty Adams County deputy 2 years after death

Local News

LASALLE, Colo. (KDVR) — The widow of an Adams County deputy who was shot by a LaSalle police officer and later died has filed a lawsuit claiming it was an excessive force action and is seeking justice for the unnecessary shooting death.

The incident occurred Jan. 16, 2019 when the pursuit of a suspected drunk driver began near the intersection of Highway 470 and Highway 85. Several departments joined in the pursuit as it spanned across several jurisdictions.

According to the lawsuit, “Off-duty Adams County Deputy Jesse Jenson was driving near the pursuit as it passed from Ft. Lupton to Platteville on Highway 85, and he joined in to assist behind Ft. Lupton officers.”

LaSalle police officer Caroline Persichetti joined the pursuit after Jenson. She mistook him as an aggressor when he exited his car and walked towards her when they stopped, the lawsuit says.

The document says, “As Jenson walked toward her, waiving his open and empty hands in the air in front of him, Persichetti shot him in the head without warning.”

Persichetti claimed self-defense but inconsistencies with her story and nearby video surveillance show there was no reason for use of deadly force as Jenson did not appear to be armed, the suit says.

The LaSalle police officer had a previous incident which may have traumatized her when she was dragged by a suspect vehicle in a traffic stop months before, the document says. The LaSalle Police Department policy is to have the officer undergo therapy after such an experience but she allegedly did not complete any treatment.

The purpose of Jenson’s widow and former Longmont police Officer Sheila Constable’s lawsuit is that she “seeks justice for the unnecessary killing of her spouse and a change to departmental training and oversight to ensure that neither Defendant Persichetti or other LaSalle officers kill again without justification.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story identified Sheila Constable as a Longmont police officer. She is a former Longmont officer; she resigned in September 2019.

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