Lawsuit filed after man shot, killed during traffic stop (5/6/15)
By: Jessica Dupnack, ABC 12 (read original article here)
FLINT TOWNSHIP (WJRT) – (05/06/15) – A Mid-Michigan family is searching for answers in the death of their son who was shot and killed last summer by a Mid-Michigan police officer. It happened last July in Flint Township on Flushing Road near Ballenger Highway.The shooting was investigated by the Michigan State Police, but no charges were brought against the office. Now, the family is demanding justice for 23-year-old Dominique Lewis.
ABC12 wants to warn you the dash camera video attached to this story may be considered graphic.
“I talked to my son that day at 5 o’clock and the last words we said was ‘I love you and I will see at 8 o’clock’,” said Carmita Lewis, Dominique’s mother.
After that phone call, Dominique got into the back seat of his cousin’s white Impala. A short time, later they were pulled over for speeding. Police said they smelled marijuana and wanted to look inside. During the stop, Dominique climbed from the back seat and got behind the wheel to drive off.That’s when the male officer fired two shots through the open driver side window, killing Lewis.
“It’s like somebody snatched my heart out of my chest,” Lewis said.
Despite an investigation by the Michigan State Police, the Flint Township Officer was never charged in the shooting.”We think this is a very strong case in favor of a shooting that never should of occurred,” said Ven Johnson, founder of Johnson Law in Detroit. Johnson is convinced that the officer had other options instead of shooting Lewis.
“That does not mean the officer can shoot and kill an unarmed man when the car at the time of the shooting was not jeopardizing the officer’s life or his partner’s life or the general public,” Johnson said.
Officers never found marijuana in the car, but they did find a loaded gun.Lewis was on parole at the time because of an assault conviction. “He did make a mistake, we all make mistakes, he should have been punished, but not murdered,” Carmita said.
If they win, Carmita said it will send a message during a time when police relations with the African American community is tense.”It is going to show the public somewhere down the line they will stop because they are going to get tired of being punished,” Carmita said.
ABC12 reached out to Flint Township. They do not comment on pending lawsuits. Johnson would not specify a dollar amount on how much they are looking to get from this lawsuit.