It’s been two years since Lonnie James Smith Jr. was shot to death by Alabama police officers and now his mother is seeking justice for her son’s death. Although Smith was killed back in February 2018, it was until recently that Lisa Hill, his mother, filed a wrongful death lawsuit on his behalf. The lawsuit is not only naming the City of Montgomery as a defendant but also its police department, the police chief, and two police officers.
In her lawsuit, Hill alleges that the “events surrounding her son’s death violated Fourth Amendment protections against illegal seizure and use of excessive force, as well as the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection under the law.” WSFA says that Smith was killed “after a pursuit by Montgomery police officers, who had initially responded to the 1600 block of Westcott Street that afternoon on reports that someone had been shot.”
When officers arrived at the crime scene, they found a “victim” who was wounded and were informed that an armed suspect fled the scene. Officers later came in contact with Smith who they believed to be the “suspect.” An altercation broke out that resulted in one officer suffering non-life-threatening injuries and Smith being shot. While officers assumed Smith was the suspect they had been looking for, Hill claims he was actually the victim of a robbery. She also included in her lawsuit that he had a concealed carry permit and “was exercising his Second Amendment right when he was assaulted and robbed by three men.”
She went on to explain that after her son had escaped from the men who had attempted to rob him, he encountered the officers as he was walking down the sidewalk. She said her son was then shot in the back after he attempted to run away from the officers who were allegedly shooting at him. Hill is now seeking compensatory and punitive damages as well as court costs associated with a jury trial.
How can I prove that a police shooting was not justified?
Officers in Moody, AL are only permitted to fire a deadly weapon after they have exhausted all other options and they feel their life is in danger. If an officer shoots at an individual before applying any other tactics that could potentially deescalate a situation, then the use of force could be considered excessive force. Now, because it can be difficult to prove that a police shooting was not justified, it is best that you retain a Moody, AL police brutality attorney who is capable of doing this for you. The police brutality lawyers at Hill, Gossett, Kemp & Hufford, P.C. are some of the best in the field and are ready to provide you with the legal representation you are going to need.