The Associated Press

A federal judge’s ruling dismissing a lawsuit filed by the family of an unarmed Black man fatally shot by an Ohio police officer says the man’s civil rights were not violated.

Cleveland.com reports U.S. District Judge James Gwin ruled July 13 it was a “close and difficult question” whether Euclid (YOO’-klid) police officer Matthew Rhodes used excessive force when he shot

23-year-old unarmed motorist Luke Stewart (l); and Euclid Police Officer Matthew Rhodes (r). Twitter Photos)

last year as Stewart drove away with Rhodes in the front passenger seat.

Stewart’s killing inflamed racial tensions in the city.

The judge concluded deadly force was warranted because of the risk Rhodes and others faced from Stewart’s erratic driving. The ruling says Stewart continued driving despite Rhodes having punched and used a stun gun on him.

Attorneys for Stewart’s family say they’re “disturbed” by the ruling and plan to appeal.