The household of a Missouri man who was fatally shot final yr by San Diego police has filed a lawsuit, claiming bail brokers circulated a needed poster padded with false info that led to the person’s dying.
The poster, which was given to police, claimed Timothy Gene Smith, forty seven, was an armed and harmful fugitive with a prolonged and violent legal historical past.
Officers later noticed and acknowledged Smith on Nov. four, resulting in an encounter through which police Sgt. Scott Holslag killed him. Smith was not armed.
The lawsuit, filed final week in San Diego federal courtroom, stated Smith acquired caught up within the hunt for his spouse, Janie Sanders, who skipped bail and was being pursued by bounty hunters.
It claims neither Sanders nor Smith had a violent legal historical past and that the bail bond firm fabricated that info to influence regulation enforcement to assist seek for them. Sanders had posted $750 bail in Missouri for drug possession costs, the lawsuit says.
“Plaintiffs allege that the knowledge offered on these ‘needed’ posters was false … and that such info was offered to regulation enforcement businesses solely for the aim of partaking their help to apprehend individuals who in any other case would have been ignored because of the minor nature of their alleged crimes and the minute quantity of excellent bail to be recovered.”
The defendants within the case embrace the town of San Diego, San Diego police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, Natalie Ann Macey and Dan Escamilla, who’re bail bonds brokers and Leland Chapman, a bounty hunter.
Escamilla stated the poster was solely disseminated to police and the knowledge it contained was correct.
“That was credible info we acquired and it was info that I felt I had an obligation to move on to regulation enforcement,” he stated Wednesday. “It is our coverage to relay any sort of data which may have an effect on officer security.”
The manhunt for the couple started in Richmond, Mo., and concerned the son of bounty hunter Duaine “Canine” Chapman. Leland Chapman, who like his father has appeared on TV exhibits, ultimately handed off the case to a Santa Ana-based mostly bail agent.
Smith and Sanders ended up in San Diego to go to Smith’s sister, with fugitive restoration brokers on their heels. Police stated for 2 days, fugitive restoration brokers staked out the Santa Fe Practice Depot in downtown San Diego and Fanuel Park in Pacific Seashore, the place the was couple was rumored to be hanging out.
The subsequent day, San Diego officers noticed Smith about three p.m. on Garnet Avenue and acknowledged him from the needed poster. When the officers tried to cease him, Smith ran away.
A police helicopter crew discovered him in a shed between condo buildings on Thomas Avenue. Officers surrounded the shed and ordered Smith to return out. He tried to leap over a fence, and a police canine was let unfastened, biting Smith’s foot, however he shook the canine off, scaled the fence and climbed onto a ledge at an house constructing.
He then turned towards Holslag and reached into his pockets, police stated. Smith didn’t adjust to instructions to point out his arms, and the sergeant shot him as soon as within the torso.
Holstag had not been issued a physique digital camera on the time of the capturing.
Sanders was arrested later that night time.
The lawsuit claims the deadly capturing was unwarranted as a result of Smith didn’t pose a menace to anybody and contends the officer used extreme pressure.
The encounter with Smith was the second time Holslag shot and killed a suspect who seemed to be going for a gun. The go well with contends Smith was shot, partially, as a result of Holslag was not disciplined after his first capturing or offered correct coaching to keep away from future situations of extreme pressure.
The San Diego Police Division stated because the lawsuit is ongoing, it couldn’t remark within the case.
The plaintiffs, which embrace Sanders and Smith’s son and mom, are looking for unspecified damages.