DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Relatives of a man fatally shot by a Dearborn police officer have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the officer and city.
The $10 million suit was filed Friday in federal court, according to multiple reports. It alleges the officer used excessive force and violated the rights of 35-year-old Kevin Matthews during the Dec. 23 arrest.
Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad told The Detroit News he hadn’t seen the lawsuit and declined comment. Emails seeking comment from city spokeswoman Mary Laundroche were’t immediately returned.
According to police, Matthews — who was unarmed — struggled with the unidentified Dearborn officer following a foot chase from that city into a nearby Detroit backyard. Officials say Matthews was involved in an earlier larceny in Dearborn and was wanted on a misdemeanor warrant in Redford Township.
A private autopsy report indicated that Matthews was shot five or six times, and at least one shot was from “close range.” The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office has said Matthews died of multiple gunshot wounds, but hasn’t released additional details or the full report of the autopsy it conducted.
Matthews’ mother, Valarie Johnson, says he had mental and emotional problems.
The officer involved in the shooting has not been named publicly, but was placed on paid administrative leave following the incident.
The shooting remains under investigation.
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