Doing 48 in a 35 MPH Zone w/No One on the Road. Isn't That What Cameras are For? From [MLive] Flint Township trustees will discuss paying $1.39 million to settle an excessive force lawsuit filed by the family of a man shot and killed by a township officer in 2014.
Dominique Lewis was shot and killed on July 16, 2014, during a traffic stop on Flushing Road near Eldorado Street in Flint Township.
The family of Lewis filed the lawsuit in April 2015 in Detroit U.S. District Court after Lewis' death. Flint Township Police Department and township police Officer Matthew Needham, who fired the fatal shots, are named as defendants in the case.
There will be a special meeting on Monday, Nov. 20, according to the township's attorney G. Gus Morris. The meeting will go into closed session to discuss the potential settlement, he said.
The $1.39 million settlement was approved by Lewis' family, according to federal court documents filed Nov. 15. A hearing to approve the settlement is set for Nov. 30, Morris said.
Lewis was killed after Needham arrived as a backup officer to assist a Flint Township officer who made a traffic stop on Flushing Road near Eldorado Street.
Dashcam video and police reports obtained by MLive-The Flint Journal through the Freedom of Information Act show a Flint Township officer initiated a traffic stop of a white Chevrolet Impala after the officer claimed the vehicle was clocked traveling 13 miles per hour over the speed limit.
Lewis was a passenger in the back seat of the stopped car.
The officer claimed she wanted to search the vehicle after she thought she smelled marijuana inside the vehicle, according to police reports. [Warning: read with caution, murderers also tell lies]
The officer also said the passengers were "moving around in the vehicle like they may have been trying to hide something," according to police reports.
The 12-minute, 8-second dashcam video released by police to MLive-The Flint Journal shows the officer who pulled over the car removing the driver from the vehicle and frisking her nearly 10 minutes into the stop.
The officer then allows the driver to remove her young daughter from the back seat of the car.
The video then shows the officer remove a male adult from the front passenger side of the vehicle.
As the officer begins to pat-down the passenger, the video shows the Impala beginning to shake. The lawsuit claims Lewis began climbing into the vehicle's driver's seat.
"Hey, hold up," the officer who made the traffic stop says in the video as the car continues to shake.
The officer told state police investigators that Lewis started the car and attempted to flee the scene, according to police reports.
Needham, who was outside the view of the dashcam as the other officer was removing the vehicle's occupants, can be seen in the video running in front of the car with his hand near his service pistol.
Needham yells, "Stop, police," but the car, which police said was driven by Lewis at that point, can be seen in the video beginning to drive the car. Needham moves to the side of the the car and fires two shots into the vehicle from less than a few feet away.
The car made a U-turn in the road before jumping the curb and coming to rest in some trees, according to a police report.
Needham and a doctor from Hurley Medical Center, who had witnessed the incident, said they attempted to aid Lewis, but he eventually died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to police reports.
The lawsuit, initially filed by attorney Rebecca H. Filiatraut of Detroit-based Johnson Law, claims Needham used "unreasonable, unnecessary and deadly force" against Lewis.
Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton [racist suspect in photo] said in October 2014 that he would not charge Needham in the shooting because he believed the officer's actions were justified.
Leyton said the officer fired the shots in self-defense and in an attempt to stop Lewis from escaping the scene. LOL. Self defense, Israeli style. See top photo. Clearly, he is also a believer of the racism/white supremacy kool aid.
Morris said Flint Township's insurance coverage will pay for the attorney costs and a settlement should the trustees approve one.
"The people who insure police officers are very reluctant to try cases that involve the police because of the anti-police sentiment," Morris said. "We feel still despite the settlement that the video establishes that the officer did not use excessive force in the circumstances that he was faced with."
MLive-The Flint Journal could not reach attorneys for Lewis' family.
The lawsuit claims Needham failed to use tactics that would have avoided deadly force, such as avoiding the car driven by Lewis and radioing a description and license plate of the fleeing vehicle to other officers.
Lewis was previously sentenced to prison in 2008 for assault with intent to do great bodily harm after he shot a man on the city's north side. He was on parole at the time of his death.
The female driver of the vehicle told police that Lewis told her to run from the police as the vehicle was being pulled over, according to a police report. She said Lewis never said why he wanted her to flee.