Calling the shooting death by police last month of their son unjustified, the family of Donte Shannon has filed a federal civil lawsuit against the City of Racine and the officers involved in the shooting.
A story from Fox 6 Now confirms that the suit was filed because:
“Shannon’s life was taken without lawful justification, by a reckless act and violation of his constitutional rights by two undercover police officers” and that the officers haven’t “been held accountable for their reckless actions despite the demands of a community struck with grief and sorrow.”
The lawsuit contends that on the day he died – January 17 – that Shannon spent time with his family and was on his way to get to a haircut when Officers Stillman and Boeck were working undercover and pulled him over, the story continues. After Shannon exited his vehicle, he ran and was shot multiple times in the back.
Shannon’s family further alleges that the officers knew him from the neighborhood and that he wasn’t a violent person and did nothing to provoke officers’ actions. Shannon died on his way to the hospital.
According to the story on Fox 6 Now, Shannon’s family says his constitutional rights were violated because they fired on him without justification in the back while he was running away. The lawsuit also states that the Racine Police Department has a poor record of investigating citizen complaints against officers, so it is liable for its officers’ actions.
On Jan. 17, Shannon fled on foot following a traffic stop and brandished a gun in the 1400 block of Park Avenue, according to officials with the Wisconsin Department of Justice. A witness told Racine County Eye that Racine Police officers Chad Stillman and Peter Boeck told Donte several times to drop the gun.
City of Racine Attorney Scott Letteny told the news station that the city hasn’t yet been served with the lawsuit so he can’t comment on it just yet.