Ohioans know that there are risks everywhere, whether you’re at home or on the job, but when you or someone you know calls the police to have a dispute looked into or to check out a disturbance, you don’t expect a killing to take place. This call to 911 may have resulted in unintended consequences for the former girlfriend of one man. In this case, a former girlfriend of a man that police fatally shot is claiming that two unidentified officers are responsible for his wrongful death.
According to the lawsuit, the 27-year-old man was fatally shot in Mercer County, Penn., in 2011 by police who were called to the scene where the man was allegedly causing problems. At least two officers came to the scene expecting to confront the 27-year-old “with a history of mental problems,” according to the news, and the situation did seem to get out of hand. The complaint states that the man got out of his vehicle when police arrived, and it was obvious that he was emotionally disturbed but not a threat. Officers allegedly shot him from less than 60 feet away, according to the lawsuit.
According to the Mercer County District Attorney, the shooting should be considered justified. The Sharon Herald, a local newspaper, reported that the woman had called 911 and reported that the man was carrying a gun. Even if that was the case, the civil complaint still points out that the police violated the man’s rights to be free from an unreasonable search and may have used excessive force to the extent that it caused his death.
The woman filing the report states that she is requesting payment for the man’s pain and suffering, for economic damages, and for punitive damages.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Lawsuit claims wrongful death in Mercer County police shooting” Rich Lord, Nov. 25, 2013