Justices reject case of retired cop put in police chokehold

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In this undated photo provided by the Institute for Justice, Vietnam veteran José Oliva holds a photo in front of the VA hospital in El Paso, Texas. (Institute for Justice via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from a retired federal law enforcement officer who was put in a chokehold and wrestled to the ground at a VA hospital security checkpoint.

The justices did not comment in refusing to revive a lawsuit filed by Jose Oliva, 76, against three officers who violently detained him in an altercation that was captured on camera. Oliva was 70 at the time of the incident in El Paso, Texas.

A Vietnam veteran who spent 25 years in federal law enforcement, Oliva had an appointment for dental work at the VA facility in 2016. The officers said he failed to produce identification, which Oliva said he already had put in a bin that was about to be scanned.

He underwent shoulder surgery and treatment for his throat, hand and ear after the altercation.

A trial judge allowed his civil rights lawsuit to go forward, but a federal appeals panel reversed the initial ruling.

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