Recently, two lawsuits have been filed against Fayetteville officers relating to separate events that occurred in 2012 and 2011.
The first claimant, Herman Harris Jr., filed a suit against police officer Zachary Pittman over a foot chase in August 2012 that ended when Harris was shot, reports the Fayetteville Observer.
In the lawsuit, Harris alleges that after being shot four times by Pittman, he suffered “numerous physical health problems” that include permanent nerve damage and weight loss. After the first filing, the lawsuit was amended to “clarify the injuries [Harris] suffered.” He seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages.
According to the Observer, the Fayetteville City Council voted in favor of providing for Pittman’s legal defense, a common practice for lawsuits involving city employees who are sued while performing their jobs. Police warrants concerning the arrest state that Pittman, responding to a complaint about a suspicious vehicle, gave chase when Harris ran from him and that Harris aimed a .40-caliber Glock 22 at Pittman before the officer fired on him.
The Council also voted to provide legal defense for two other officers in an unrelated case. The Observer reports that officers James House and Steven Randall are being sued in federal court by a man who alleges police misconduct following his 2011 arrest.
In this case, Connie Jerrod Elliot claims through his lawsuit that while in custody, he was injured, choked and verbally threatened by House and Randall. Elliot also seeks unspecified damages. Yet city officials deny the charges, stating in a court record that Elliot was “non-compliant, combative and verbally abusive” during and after his arrest.
Both Harris and Elliot intend to defend themselves in court.
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