Petal responds to suit filed by widow of man killed in officer-involved shooting

Petal responds to suit filed by widow of man killed in officer-involved shooting
The City of Petal and Leonard Fuller, Petal Police Department police chief, have officially filed a response to a civil lawsuit against them.

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The City of Petal and Leonard Fuller, Petal Police Department police chief, have officially filed a response to a civil lawsuit against them. The widow and mother of Marc Davis’ children, Yoshanta Albert filed the lawsuit on June 1.

Davis was shot and killed after an unidentified police officer responded to a two-vehicle accident at Leeville Road and Highway 42 around 10 a.m. on June 2, 2017. According to authorities, when the officer arrived on scene, an altercation between him and Davis ensued, leading to the officer-involved shooting.

The 34-year-old LaPlace, LA native was taken to Forrest General Hospital where he died from his injuries. Forrest County Coroner Butch Benedict told WDAM-TV in a previous interview that Davis was shot multiple times.

The officer, who has yet to be named, was placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation.

The complaint states that Davis' rights were violated under the Civil Rights Act of 1871 specifically section 1983. Additionally, his rights under the fourth, fifth, and fourteenth amendments of the United States and Louisiana constitutions were infringed upon. It goes on to say that the complaint was filed based on the “use of excessive force, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, battery and assault” that led to the “wrongful death” of Davis.

This is a civil action brought by the plaintiffs, Yoshanta Albert, individually and as a representative of the estate of Marc Davis, and on behalf of their minor children, Ava Davis, Marcayle Davis, Amina Davis, Serenity Martin and Leah Davis, (hereinafter referred to as "Plaintiffs) to recover compensatory and punitive damages sustained as a result of the wrongful conduct of the defendants, The City of Petal, Leonard Fuller, in his official capacity as chief of police for the Petal Police Department, and officer John Doe, in his official and individual capacity as police officer for the City of Petal...

In attorney Rock Eaton’s response to the suit, court documents state that the officer’s actions were justified.

“The defendants acted reasonably and appropriately under the circumstances and are not liable for “excessive force” claims under Section 1983, not liable under “reckless disregard” claims of the Mississippi Tort Claims Act and are not otherwise liable.”

It goes on to say that “alleged damages” incurred as a result of the officer-involved shooting was Davis' fault.

“The negligence, misconduct, and action of Plaintiff’s decedent solely and proximately caused Plaintiff’s alleged damages.”

Mayor Mal Harx previously stated that he was confident that the officer wasn’t guilty of any “wrong doing."

“It was investigated by an outside agency,” Marx said of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation in a previous interview with WDAM-TV. “It is standard that after something like that, an officer is given a short administrative leave time. The officer was cleared, and we feel like they are good to go back to work.”

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