Lawsuit planned in Little Rock police shooting | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lawsuit planned in Little Rock police shooting

Posted By on Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 2:59 PM

EUGENE ELLISON
  • EUGENE ELLISON
Mike Laux, a Chicago lawyer, says he'll file a promised civil rights lawsuit over the fatal shooting Dec. 9 of Eugene Ellison by off-duty Little Rock police working as security guards at his apartment complex. He called the incident avoidable and a reflection of a "nationwide epidemic of police misconduct." He'll hold a news conference Monday at the Capital Hotel.

Ellison, 67, was shot while struggling with officers Donna Lesher and Tabitha McCrillis. Prosecutor Larry Jegley said the officers were justified in the shooting because other efforts to subdue him had been unsuccessful. The officers said they had gone into the apartment because the door was open and the apartment appeared in disarray. They said Ellison then attacked them. He'd had mental and police problems in years past, but had lived uneventfully in the Big Country Chateau Apartments on Col. Glenn for more than a dozen years.

The Ellison family, which included a current and former Little Rock officer, has raised questions about the impartiality of the police investigation. Jegley's decision was based on the police's work. The family already has complained to the FBI that officers shouldn't have entered the apartment.

Laux's announcement said:

On the evening of December 9, 2010, 67-year-old Eugene Ellison, a Vietnam veteran, was shot and killed in his home by Little Rock police officers Donna Lesher and Tabitha McCrillis. On that date, Officers Lesher and McCrillis worked as off-duty security guards at the Big Country Chateau apartment complex and entered Ellison’s apartment without a warrant. The Little Rock Police Department (LRPD) performed a subsequent internal investigation, and LRPD investigators exonerated both officers of any wrongdoing.

On October 17, 2011, the family of Eugene Ellison will file a federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of Little Rock, LRPD Chief Stuart Thomas, Lesher and McCrillis and the Big Country Chateau apartment complex.

The complaint will allege that Lesher and McCrillis entered Ellison’s home without a legal basis to do so. Physical contact was initiated by the officers, and a struggle ensued. After the struggle was over and after two (2) LRPD officers arrived as back-up, Lesher shot and killed Ellison, without any legal basis to do so. Both the warrantless entry into Ellison’s home and his killing violated his constitutional right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures and to be free of excessive force. The complaint will also allege that there was, at LRPD, a widespread “custom” of ignoring excessive force complaints lodged against its officers. This custom created a culture in which LRPD officers believed there were no penalties for committing acts of excessive force against Little Rock citizens or violating their constitutional rights in other ways. This custom within the LRPD led to the death of Ellison.

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • ASU announces $29 million athletic project backed by private booster foundation

    The Arkansas State University Board of Trustees today approved a ground lease with the Red Wolves Foundation which will take the responsibility for building $29. million worth of improvements to the football stadium.
    • Nov 20, 2017
  • Monday's open line

    Here's the Monday open line and today's news roundup
    • Nov 20, 2017
  • Protest set on tax legislation

    A coalition of groups will demonstrate at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday in front of the state Human Services headquarters at Seventh and Main to show displeasure with the Senate tax legislation.
    • Nov 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Judge anticipates punishment of lawyers in Fort Smith class action case

    Federal Judge P.K. Holmes of Fort Smith issued a 32-page ruling yesterday indicating he contemplates punishment of 16 lawyers who moved a class action lawsuit against an insurance company out of his court to a state court in Polk County after a settlement had been worked out.
    • Apr 15, 2016
  • Arkansas: Land of .......

    Welcome to Arkansas: Land of cowardly politicians, discriminatory laws, inhumane turkey drops and lots and lots of Trump voters.
    • Oct 8, 2016
  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016

Most Shared

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Monday's open line

    • I personally find the whole "Personhood for fetuses" absolutely absurd. How stupid to insert it…

    • on November 20, 2017
  • Re: Vox pop: Mixed response to Capitol monument proposals

    • Here is a good news for those interested. There is away you can earn money…

    • on November 20, 2017
  • Re: Protest set on tax legislation

    • I am sorry about the debit to your grandchildren Razor, but if the GOP majority…

    • on November 20, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation