Police sued after shooting a man accused of waving a gun at drivers, pulling it on police

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CHARLOTTE, NC – A lawsuit has been filed by a man seriously injured last year after being shot by Pineville officers in February 2020, following reports of a man with a handgun pointing it at people.

Pineville police received a 911 call on February 1, 2020, reporting a man was waving a gun near a busy area off of North Polk Street. Body camera video released by the department detailed what occurred next.

Enroute to the incident, police were told by a dispatcher:

“Should be holding a handgun, black in color.”

Officers Adam Roberts, Jamn Griffin, Nicholas French, and Leslie Gladden responded to the scene.

Officers arrived to observe Timothy Caraway, 24, on the sidewalk. As officers approached the subject, he was holding a black object in his hands. Police later determined the object was a cellphone.

As officers approached, they gave him repeated warnings to drop his weapon. Caraway initially appeared to be complying, but then drew a handgun from his pocket. Officers again gave verbal warnings to Caraway to drop his weapon and then opened fire.

Pineville Police Chief Michael Hudgins said:

“He reaches into his pocket, pulls out a gun. At this time, officers perceived this as an imminent threat.”

Officers Roberts and Griffin fired 12 shots total, hitting Caraway in the wrist, hand, neck, and torso.

Officers immediately transitioned to rendering first aid to the suspect. The video footage clearly showed Caraway’s handgun on the ground near him.

One officer can be heard telling Caraway to put up his hands, and the suspect responded:

“I can’t. I can’t, officer. I can’t, officer. I can’t.”

Caraway told the officers he was sorry, and told them:

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I was just doing what I was told to do. Ya’ll (sic) said, ‘Drop it.’ I’m sorry.

“I went on the ground. Why did y’all shoot me? … Please don’t let me die.”

Caraway told the officers that he had his gun out because a girl was following him:

“This girl keeps following me. I asked her to stop. This girl keeps following me. I just asked her to stop. That’s it, man.”

Caraway was taken to a local hospital for treatment of his injuries and was released days later.

Caraway was charged with four felony counts of assault with a firearm on a law enforcement officer, going armed to the terror of the public, carrying a concealed weapon, and resist, obstruct and delay law enforcement officers after his release.

A lawsuit has now been filed in Mecklenburg County Superior Court against the City of Pineville and the four officers involved in the incident.

 

According to the lawsuit, Caraway suffers from “long-term injuries and trauma because of the Pineville Officers’ use of excessive force.”

The lawsuit claims Caraway was walking to his grandmother’s house when a woman reported a black man waving a gun.

The suit claims that officers gave conflicting commands as they approached Caraway, “including to drop his gun and to put up his hands.”

The lawsuit reads:

“Caraway turned towards the officers, pulled the gun out of his right pocket, held it on his right side facing away from the officers, and started to drop it on the ground. As he bent down on his right knee to place the gun in the grass, he was shot once by Officer Roberts with his assault rifle.”

The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages “for loss of liberty, extraordinary emotional pain and suffering, and injuries.”

Pineville Police responded to the lawsuit by pointing out that the officers were cleared of any criminal wrongdoing, and also cleared by an independent administrative investigation:

“At this stage, it is important to remember that our officers have been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing, and we are now at liberty to disclose (that) they have also been cleared through a separate administrative investigation conducted by an outside law enforcement consulting firm.

“This is a difficult time for all of us and we are committed to doing the right thing. Our department supports and will defend our four police officers, who put their lives on the line every single day without question.”

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A man pulled a fake gun on cops and was fatally shot. A Boston judge has ruled the officers can be sued.

December 12, 2020

 

BOSTON, MA- Well, we’d like to say you can’t make it up, but it’s 2020 and after all, it is Massachusetts we are talking about.

Earlier this year, we reported on an officer-involved shooting in the Boston suburb of Brookline where police shot and killed Juston Root, 41, after he pulled out a facsimile firearm and pointed it at police outside Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Now a federal judge has ruled that a wrongful death suit against the police can proceed, according to WCVB-5 in Boston.

Police engaged Root in pursuit to a shopping center on Route 9 in Brookline, where traffic camera video showed Root’s car slamming into several vehicles where the pursuit ended.

According to a report filed by the Norfolk District Attorney, a total of 31 shots were fired at Root by six police officers; Root was hit 26 times.

Root’s family, which to our knowledge have no police training, said police were not following protocol.

“It actually blows my mind when I really think about him dying there and how they handled him and the total disregard for life,” said Root’s sister Jennifer. “The total disregard, to seeing what was in front of them. There was no way he was a threat.”

The family says police need better training on dealing with people with mental illness [pointing a facsimile firearm at them we guess].

Investigators from the District Attorney’s office determined the shooting was justified, noting that officers reported seeing Root reach for what appeared to be a gun in his coat. The gun turned out being a BB gun.

The lawsuit names the city of Boston, five Boston police officers and Massachusetts state trooper as defendants.

Following is our original reporting on the incident from February, 2020.

A man who pulled what appeared to be a firearm on Boston police outside Brigham and Women’s hospital appears to have made a fatal mistake with a replica gun.

Earlier this month, Juston Root, 41, of Mattapan was encountered by police after they responded to the area of the hospital for a report of a man with a gun.

According to police, on Feb. 7, Root pulled what appeared to be a gun and pointed it at officers.

Responding officers shot at the suspect, who drove off in a vehicle, and later crashed in Brookline. After crashing into numerous vehicles, Root got out of his care and once again pulled what appeared to be a gun on police, according to authorities.

Despite repeated orders to drop the gun, police shot Root. He was transported to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where he was pronounced dead.

On Tuesday, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins announced at a press conference that the gun Root was carrying was in fact a facsimile of a real firearm. During the incident on Feb. 7, a hospital valet was also struck by a bullet, which was originally thought to have been fired by Root.

https://www.facebook.com/7NEWS/videos/631280884295179/

“The investigation revealed that the weapon recovered on scene near Mr. Root in Norfolk County, which he brandished in Suffolk County, was not a working firearm,” Rollins said. “We can therefore, determine that the valet was struck by a bullet discharged by a Boston police officer.”

In light of the new information, however it appears it was “friendly fire” from one of the responding Boston PD officers. The valet was injured, although not seriously.

“We are very, very happy that he is alive,” said Rollins at a press conference Tuesday which discussed the investigation’s initial findings.

Rollins was unable to comment on what happened in Brookline since it’s in Norfolk County, she did note that Root had pulled what appeared to be a gun on a hospital security officer and threatened them, which led to the 911 call and police response.

Root then chased two security guards down Vining Street, Rollins said. When police arrived on scene, Root stopped chasing the security guards and actually tried to send officers up Vining Street, “in an apparent attempt to deflect police’s attention elsewhere.”

Root then was contacted by a Boston officer, who noted what appeared to be a gun in Root’s waistband. The officer ordered him to stop, but Root pulled the “firearm” out and started to pull the trigger, Rollins said.

The officer fired at Root, and another officer who witnessed what happened also shot at Root.

At least one of the rounds struck Root, who got into a Chevy Volt “that he had abandoned in the middle of the street and fled,” Rollins said. It was during this time that the valet was also struck.

Rollins showed reporters at the press conference a video of the encounter between Root and police outside the hospital, describing the replica as “very realistic.”

Rollins said that the matter is still under investigation by her office, and they will make a determination of the officers’ actions adjacent to the hospital were appropriate.

When asked if police acted appropriately, Rollins said:

“That’s ultimately what we will be determining, and we will not rush to judgment there.”   

 

 

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