The federal court of appeals in Atlanta on Tuesday held that a Fulton County police officer who shot a 16-year-old teen in the back of the head after the youth surrendered and was kneeling on the ground is entitled to immunity from liability under state law.

In doing so, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit vacated, reversed and remanded part of a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Amy Totenberg, who had decided that a civil suit filed on the teen’s behalf should be allowed to go to trial. Totenberg had ruled that the officer should face trial on state negligence claims.

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