The father of an unarmed man who was killed in an Akron police shooting last year has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city arguing officers used excessive force when they opened fire.
Akron Police Officer Brian Armstead shot William “Bill” Lemmon, 21, in September 2015 while responding to a report of an armed robbery. According to the lawsuit, Lemmon “partially fit” the suspect’s description, but the lawsuit alleges police had not seen him break any laws.
Four police officers — including Armstead — surrounded Lemmon with weapons drawn and ordered him to show his hands or take his hand out of his waistband. Lemmon responded, according to the lawsuit, by shouting expletives and insisting he hadn’t done anything. He told police he wasn’t going anywhere and told them they’d “have to shoot him.”
Lemmon, who was unarmed, moved to dismount his bicycle, and that’s when one police officer fired a stun gun, the lawsuit alleges. A second or so later, Armstead fired four gunshots into Lemmon’s chest.
Attorneys for the family argued Armstead “assaulted, battered and unnecessarily shot” the younger Lemmon “with deliberate and reckless indifference toward his life, liberty and well-being.”
The Summit County Prosecutor’s Office ruled the shooting was justified, saying officers thought Lemmon was armed when he “lurched toward them.”
When reached for comment, police Chief James Nice said he had not yet read the complaint. An Akron city spokeswoman also declined to comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Nick Glunt can be reached at 330-996-3565 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NickGluntABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ngfalcon.