Man files lawsuit against GRPD after accidental shooting
Officer says he fired his weapon after he 'tripped,' victim not hit, but says he is suffering from PTSD over incident.
**Editors Note: This story originally aired on WGVU Radio on April 29th.
A man has filed a federal lawsuit against the Grand Rapids Police Department, alleging an officer accidently fired a gun in his direction, after mistaking his car for a stolen one.
The shooting took place on Dec. 9th in Grand Rapids, after several police officers had located an empty vehicle they believed to have been stolen and used in a shooting earlier that day. They believed weapons were also in the car.
When the car’s owner, Daevionne Smith, exited his father’s house on Cass Avenue SE near Sycamore Street, and began walking towards it, that’s when he says, officers, with guns drawn, began charging at him.
In the lawsuit which WGVU has obtained, Benton Harbor attorney John Beason writes,
“Seconds later, with no forewarning or announcement proclaiming his pursuers as police officers, a gun blast rang out and a bullet flew past Mr. Smith’s head, close enough for him to feel and hear the force of the small piece of steel, which caused him to immediately throw himself to the ground in fear of his life."
The lawsuit says Smith now suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as well as chronic pain in his arm from falling after the officer discharged his firearm.
He is seeking $8 million.
Meanwhile Officer Bauer has been charged with a misdemeanor for the incident.
The bullet hit a nearby house. No one was injured.