Police Abuse

Family of Man Shot by Cop Suing City for Hiring Him Despite Problems at Previous Job

|

shot by cop
change.org

In 2012 Officer Darren Moody of the Dothan, Alabama, police department shot and killed unarmed Christopher Jerome Thomas in his SUV after a 12-block pursuit that ended in a parking lot. The Houston County District Attorney ruled the shooting justified, pointing to Thomas' refusal to stop as the reason he died.

He also told the press Thomas had multiple bags of marijuana in his car and marijuana in his system. What he didn't say, but has now come out in a lawsuit by the family, is that Moody mistakenly believed he was pursuing a convicted felon, Jerry Jerome Hill, when he shot Thomas. 

Via WDHN in Dothan:

In the lawsuit it's alleged that Moody initially believed he was chasing someone other than Thomas. Radio transmissions in a video/audio of the chase obtained exclusively by WDHN/DothanFirst confirm that Moody thought he was chasing Jerry Jerome Hill, a convicted felon also known as "Booty Bop". Moody indicated he believed Hill had charges outstanding against him. 

Katherine Thomas claims her son was killed when Moody jumped from his car and began firing shots before giving Christopher Thomas an adequate chance to surrender.

Some witnesses claim Moody ran toward Thomas' car and fired at nearly point blank range with the officer never in the path of Thomas' vehicle. Other witnesses dispute those claims.

The lawsuit accuses the Dothan Police Department of being neglectful in hiring Moody, who it alleges had multiple personnel violations while previously employed at the police department in Pensacola, Florida. In its lawsuit, the family is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.

NEXT: Obama Looking at 'All the Options' on Iraq, Bergdahl Returns, Who Will Replace Cantor?: P.M. Links

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Well, yeah it’s a good shoot. If the cop thought he was pursuing a dangerous person, then he has every right to shoot the FUCK out of the person’s vehicle before positively ID’ing the inhabitant. Procedures were followed. Which ones? Inconsequential.

    Cause – officer safety.

    So – good shoot, IMHO. hth

    SMOOCHES

  2. “Family of Man Shot by Cop Suing City for Hiring Him Despite Problems at Previous Job”

    Ed = This sentence is medically determined to cause chronic headaches.

    (i swear i still can’t tell if the cop is suing the city or if the family was shot_)

    The FDA is going to regulate this post soon.

    1. Why would someone sue a city for hiring them? Odd. Makes me want to read on.

  3. I hope the taxpayers of Dothan get it good and hard. If ‘muricans insist on their law enforcement fetish, they deserve what they get. Unfortunately, the wrong people get shot. What I’d give to have Scalia shot by a pig with a Cartman fetish.

    1. Epi to come unleash the Collectivist Kraken in 3……2…….1……

  4. I love how the police excuses imply that if they think they are chasing a convicted felon, it’s totally ok and normal and acceptable that they might just kill him/her. No qualifications, just “convicted felon” == “can kill whenever we want”.

    I have no idea how this country is going to walk back what has happened with the police. Just no idea at all.

      1. Well FUCK IT NOW.

    1. So cops don’t get any training about the holding in Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985)?

      1. Why would they get training about something that doesn’t concern them?

    2. The current police departments are going to have to be broken down and rebuilt. You can’t fix a truly toxic culture without rebuilding from the ground up, and that means replacing most of the employees.

      The likelihood of that happening through peaceful means gets more remote every day.

    3. Or the way they beat the shit out of a diabetic having an episode and then say in all innocence ‘but, but, we thought they were drunk’ as if that makes it OK.

  5. I don’t know the races of the parties involved, but even if it turns out that the cop is white and the victim black, and even though the cop doesn’t have a colorable argument that he reasonably believed that deadly force was necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury, I can confidently predict that this incident won’t get a fraction of the attention and outrage that the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case got.

  6. I like the negligent hiring angle. Although, ultimately the case will still come down (I think) to the family’s ability to crack the internal, self-interested finding that it was a good shoot.

    Early reports, etc., but one still has to wonder:

    What exactly was the driver doing that made the cop fear for his life? If nothing, then I think the only grounds for shooting is that its the only way to stop a dangerous felon from escaping.

    Was the car stopped? If so, then the allowance for deadly force to stop a fleeing felon doesn’t apply. Just because a felon fled doesn’t give license to shoot the felon if he stops fleeing (a nuance that may have been lost on the DA).

    How reasonable was the cops mis-identification? Why did he think he was after Mr. Bop?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.