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Officers' use of deadly force deemed "justified."

Daniel Simmonds, Personal Representative of his son, Kevin Simmonds, sued Genesee County and several individual police officers and Deputies, after they were involved in Kevin's fatal shooting.  The father argued that deadly force was clearly unwarranted and that the officers were guilty of a civil rights violation and wrongful death.

Daniel had called police seeking help after Kevin threatened to kill family members. Officers were told that Kevin "wasn't right," was intoxicated and armed, and was contemplating suicide.  The officers arrived at the Simmonds rural home in the dark, and before they could implement a plan, Kevin drove in the driveway.  He did not follow police instructions and attempted to drive away.  His vehicle became stuck in the snow and one officer approached his vehicle.  In a subsequent frenzy, Simmonds was tazered ineffectively, purportedly made threatening motions with a "silver handgun," and was shot dead.  The handgun turned out to be a cell phone.

The family argued that with proper training, the episode would never have resulted in a fatality.  It also argued that the individual officers were guilty of gross negligence that would nullify their qualified immunity.  The Court granted summary disposition to all Defendants, finding inadequate evidence to support the training claim and no violation of established law by the individuals.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
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Traverse City, Michigan 49684
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