Wrongful death suit filed over St. Louis police shooting

AP News
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Posted: Jan 21, 2016 8:14 PM
Wrongful death suit filed over St. Louis police shooting

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Relatives of an 18-year-old whose fatal shooting by an off-duty St. Louis police officer led to protests have filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

The suit was filed Wednesday in St. Louis Circuit Court on behalf of the parents of VonDerrit Myers Jr. and the mother of his child, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1ZPVm97 ) reported.

Police said Myers, who was black, fired at Jason Flanery, a white officer, in October 2014. They said Flanery, who was off duty and working an after-hours security job, returned fire and killed Myers.

Myers' family members have disputed the police version of the shooting. Their suit says Myers "lost his life needlessly" and that the security company and community improvement district were negligent in hiring "dangerous security guards like Flanery who were likely to kill innocent citizens just walking down public streets."

Coming just two months after the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Myers' death added to already heightened tensions over police and civilian relations in the region.

In May, the circuit attorney's office announced that Flanery would not be charged and it released a report that debunked suggestions that police had planted a gun on Myers. The report was part of a new process for investigating officer-involved shootings.

Flanery resigned from the force last month after being accused of driving his patrol car while intoxicated and crashing into a parked vehicle.

Flanery's attorney, Brian Millikan, told the Post-Dispatch he couldn't comment without having seen the lawsuit. He didn't immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press after hours Thursday. Phone records don't list a number for Flanery.

Besides Flanery, the private security firm and community improvement district that employed him are also named as defendants.

The suit seeks unspecified damages, upward of $25,000.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com