Family of man killed by police files suit against city

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 at 11:45pm

The family of a man shot and killed by Metro police during a March robbery attempt has filed suit against Metro Nashville and the officer who pulled the trigger.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court against Metro, police Canine Officer Joe Shelton and “John Doe police officers #1-#20,” seeks $10 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages for the March 12 shooting of 40-year-old Reginald Dewayne Wallace near 14th Avenue South.

According to the suit, while Shelton, with help from his canine partner Memphis, tried to apprehend Wallace, the suspect pulled what later turned out to be an iPod from his pocket, prompting Shelton to open fire.

Wallace died about three hours later.

According to a police statement released following the incident, Wallace hid under a deck after being chased by responding officers. Memphis found Wallace and bit into him, clinging to the suspect as he crawled out from under the deck and tried to scale a fence.

Shelton then grabbed Wallace, who police said continued to ignore the officer’s commands. When Wallace pulled the iPod from his pocket, police said Shelton perceived “imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death” and opened fire.

The suits claims, among other things, that Metro deprived Wallace of his rights to protection from unreasonable search and seizure, cruel and unusual punishment, and due process.

The plaintiffs in the suit are listed as Quiana Johnson — the mother of Wallace’s 1-year-old son Reginald Dewayne Wallace II — Reginald Wallace’s wife Karissa Sweat and his daughter Waynnesia Brooks.

The suit claimed Shelton had shot and killed another man in the line of police duty during March 2007.

A spokesman for Metro police said the department was unaware of the lawsuit.

17 Comments on this post:

By: njmccune on 6/16/10 at 6:16

Let me get this straight... Reginald Wallace was caught attempting a robbery... resists arrest, disregards being chewed on by a police dog, reaches into his pocket to extract something (possibily a gun) and the officer shoots him. I am at a loss to determine how the officer was wrong.

Now for the best part: Since the wife and the girlfriend and his momma will no longer be supported by Reggie's nafarious activities they are suing everybody they can for lots of money so none of them will ever have to work again.

Who is this scumbag attorney?

By: d4deli on 6/16/10 at 6:50

I hope that the family has to pay the court costs for this lawsuit, and that they are not awarded any money. It is terrible that they lost a loved one, but alluding the police, whether an actual crime is committedf, is a crime itself, and puts you in great danger. I doubt the suspect would have run unless he was guilty. When it comes to the police, you have to respect their authority. They carry guns, and they have training that helps to keep them alive in any situation. If they feel their life may be threatened, they don't have that extra second to see if you are pulling an ipod or gun out of your pocket.
If the suspect had responded appropriately, he wouldn't be dead. End of case. I hope the jury agrees, because I am getting tired of everyone trying to make a living by suing the city.

By: on 6/16/10 at 8:49

I'm glad we didn't have to pay for a trial, and have to feed and house this guy in a prison for several years, then he'd get out and victimize someone else. The police and the dog deserve special accolades fo this.

By: cantbreeth on 6/16/10 at 9:47

The attorney who actually filed the suit should be disbarred....does he really think pulling out your ipod in this situation is reasonable behavior? What would the name of that class in law school be? Stupid Is As Stupid Does 101?

I think my head is going to explode......

By: njmccune on 6/16/10 at 10:12

I have read this complaint and the filing attorney is Ernest B Williams, IV through the Law office of Woods & Woods.

This soap oprah should be dismissed.

By: JohnGalt on 6/16/10 at 11:18

Another try for the brass ring or lawsuit lottery.

Maybe some sane judge will refrain from laughing out loud while dismissing this lawsuit

By: gruntz on 6/16/10 at 11:30

I think they should sue the fence manufacturer for impeding his flight which led to his death. They could also sue the homeowner who erected the fence. :-)

By: AmyLiorate on 6/16/10 at 11:38

Maybe he was going to surrender but had to turn off his iPod first?

What tune was playing? Bad Boys theme from Cops? Atomic Dog by George Clinton? Clapton's version of I Shot the Sheriff?

By: waycool1 on 6/16/10 at 2:09

After reading this story, I have become mentally unstable. I think I'll sue.

By: rbull on 6/16/10 at 3:06

Well it is certain that Reginald Wallace was no choir boy or he would not have been trying to commit robbery. I also notice he has a girl friend and a wife....he had the better of two worlds and he should have thought about both of them as well as the two children he beared before commiting robbery. Thank goodness we don't have to pay for a jury for this case. Next thing you know we (taxpayers) will be billed for his funeral expenses.

When you play with fire you sometimes get burned and Wallace got more than burned in this case. We don't have to worry about anymore robberies with him.

By: njmccune on 6/16/10 at 3:07

After re-reading this story I notice that they did not sue Memphis, the dog. I suspect they will have to amend the suit as in it they are suing Metro because they did not property train their officers... so I guess the dog was not properly trained either.

By: WickedTribe on 6/16/10 at 6:41

Anyone who thinks a guy being attacked by a dog an attempting to climb over a fence decided to whip an ipod out of his pocket, needs his or her head examined.

That bs story was obviously fabricated by the cop to justify this murder. That's why the po-po is being sued, and rightfully so.

By: bwallace on 6/17/10 at 1:21

To all the asshole people that put a negetive commet are all assholes but thanks to the one person that actully sees it form the family view think you. A person can only someone from what they see throught the media in which half of what they say is not true, I will never uphold for what a person do if it is wrong but noone deserves to die the way Reginald did, so in case you have not figured out by now who I am I am his sister who loved him very much reguargless of his actions and no amount of money in the world can replace a love one's live. So screw all the jerks that said nasty things about my brother can not be one of GOD's creation but something that was summed up by the devil, so go to HELL!!!!!!! R.I.P little brother we miss you very much.

By: bwallace on 6/17/10 at 1:22

So if any of these ass holes would like to commet with me face to face feel to look me up and if you're that smart you shoul be able to find me.

By: fightcrib on 6/18/10 at 4:23

bwallace, that sounds like a threat. You better tread carefully, or you might not get a cent of that blood money, or worse you could end up in jail. You better keep yo cool.

By: bwallace on 6/24/10 at 9:37

B. Wallace
I don"t make threats thats against the law, people /public are quickly to make bad judgements about people when they don't know the real/whole story, they only go by what the media and what they here or see on tv. Every story has two sides and only one of them is the truth and nothing but the truth and it will revail in due time, but thanks for your comment rather you meant it in postive or negative way, but it's not about the money its about justice being served in the right form because no amount of money can replace a loved one (my brother) in which whom I loved very much and I would switch places with him if I had too. R.I.P. I miss you and love you very much little brother we all do.

By: jmt83 on 7/18/10 at 7:52

You say theres two sides to every story but the only man who knows the other side of the story is your brother who is deceased (dead). You dont know what happened nor anyone else except the police officer that was there. It is unfortunate that your brother had to pass away but it was his own actions that lead up to his death. It is because of people like you that police have a bad reputation. It really is Pathedic.