SAN DIEGO -- During his third day on the witness stand, police Officer Aaron Mansker continued to defend many of his actions two years ago when he shot then-Chargers linebacker Steve Foley.
Foley is suing the officer and the city of Coronado for unspecified damages stemming from the Sept. 3, 2006, incident. He contends that Mansker acted contrary to his training and violated Coronado police policy, which led to the shooting.
The officer, who was off duty and wearing civilian clothes at the time, shot the football player in the back of the left knee and hip during a confrontation near Foley's home. Those injuries ended Foley's career as a professional athlete.
Mansker testified in San Diego Superior Court that he reported information to dispatchers as he tracked Foley in his car from downtown San Diego to Poway. But the officer conceded yesterday that he didn't alert dispatchers when he decided to order Foley to pull over.
Mansker also testified that he didn't tell dispatchers, or sheriff's deputies who arrived at Travertine Court less than a minute after the shooting, that he thought Foley was armed. Mansker said he fired his gun because he believed, wrongly, that the football player had a weapon.
Harvey Levine, one of Foley's lawyers, showed the officer excerpts from police training documents, which highlighted the importance of communicating such information to dispatchers during traffic stops.
Mansker disputed whether the incident with Foley -- whom the officer suspected of drunken driving -- constituted a "high-risk vehicle pull-over" as referenced in the training materials.
"I was taking effort to stop the vehicle," he said.
Mansker was driving his own car at the time of the incident. He has testified that he identified himself as a police officer to Foley and his female companion, but never showed his badge.
In other testimony yesterday, Chargers defensive end Igor Olshansky, who played with Foley during the 2004 and 2005 football seasons, described Foley as a hard-working, energetic player with an impressive physique.
"The way that he had the ability to run and play and stay healthy and dominate the game was really a privilege for me t see," Olshansky said.
The trial is expected to resume Monday.