From [HERE] Two Columbus police officers used excessive force when they killed a 25-year-old man during an encounter on a Far East Side street last year, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court.
The wrongful-death suit contends that Officers Matthew Baase and John Narewski confronted Deaunte Bell-McGrew on Oct. 29, 2016 "in a fashion that unnecessarily created a dangerous situation."
A Franklin County grand jury declined to indict the officers on May 11.
Bell-McGrew was with two other people in a car when the officers approached them at the Amberly Square Apartments off Refugee Road, just east of Noe-Bixby Road, because of suspicious activity, police said. Police didn’t give further details of what the "suspicious activity" was but cops believe all Blacks are suspicious - b/c they are not white.
The officers said they tried "to talk with" Bell-McGrew, who was in the back seat, but he refused to comply with an order to put his hands up, according to Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien. It is not clear why cops had ordered to detain him at this point. Bell-McGrew struggled with Narewski and reached for a gun in his pocket, police said. He was shot six times by the officers and died at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center.
Bell-McGrew was on probation at the time for possessing a 9 mm handgun that he wasn't allowed to have because of a felony record, police said.
Baase, 41, was a 16-year veteran of the police division at the time and Narewski, 44, had been an officer for 15 years.
Christopher M. Cooper, the plaintiff in the suit and administrator of Bell-McGrew's estate, said Bell-McGrew was sitting in the back seat of the car talking with friends when Narewski approached asking what they were doing.
Suddenly, "for no apparent reason," Narewski opened the door where Deaunte was sitting and ordered him out of the vehicle, Cooper said.
"Deaunte (Bell-McGrew), as he had a constitutional right to do, repeatedly asked Officer Narewski what he did, why he was being ordered from the vehicle, and what law he had violated," according to the suit. Instead of answering Bell-McGrew, Narewski replied “I know exactly who the f--- you are,” and grabbed Bell-McGrew in an attempt to pull him from the vehicle, the suit states.
Narewski struggled to pull Bell-McGrew from the vehicle, still ignoring Bell-McGrew's questions.
At some point during the struggle, Baase yelled “gun!” and fired a shot into the vehicle, the suit states. Narewski backed away from the car while pulling his weapon and fired at Bell-McGrew, who was still sitting in the vehicle, hitting him at least five times.
The suit also names Sgt. Eric Pilya as a defendant. Pilya was a team leader in charge of the police division's Critical Incident Response Team, which the suit claims inadequately investigated the shooting.