OAKLAND -- A federal jury has rejected a wrongful-death lawsuit against the city after police shot and killed a man who pointed two guns at an officer following a high-speed chase in East Oakland more than three years ago.

Martin Flenaugh II, 19, of Oakland, was fatally shot on Jan. 26, 2011, after authorities say he pointed a pistol at a police officer. The shooting followed a car chase that ended when Flenaugh's friend, Jereme Brown, 24, also of Oakland, crashed their red Infiniti into an uninvolved green Buick at 85th Avenue and San Leandro Street, police said.

In 2012, relatives of Flenaugh filed a federal civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit against the city, alleging that he was unarmed when he was shot. At trial, Brown testified that Flenaugh did not have a gun and was not involved in the gunfight in another area of East Oakland.

However, during cross-examination, defense attorneys played recordings of Brown's phone calls from jail where he said Flenaugh was armed on the day he was killed, and had fired shots during the gunfight. He also called Flenaugh "trigger happy," said Alex Katz, a spokesman for City Attorney Barbara Parker.

"I am pleased with the jury's verdict, which was a sound decision based on the evidence," Parker said. "However, it is tragic that the officers were placed in a position where they had to use lethal force, and that this young man's family suffered such a horrible loss."

Oakland police officers and an independent witness testified that Flenaugh was armed and aimed guns at an officer when he got out of his car the night he was shot and killed.


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Fearing for his life, the lives of other officers and the lives of bystanders, the officer shot Flenaugh, authorities said. Police recovered both handguns at the scene. The officer's name was not released by the city and he was cleared by Alameda County prosecutors of any wrongdoing.

The jury deliberated for less than an hour Tuesday morning before returning its verdict. Flenaugh's mother, Spring Mathews, was not available for comment Tuesday night.

Follow Kristin J. Bender at Twitter.com/kjbender.