The family of a man who was shot to death by Brooklyn Center, Minnesota police in August have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against one of the officers involved in the shooting.
According to KSTP’s Steven Tellier, Elizabeth Fair claims that her son, Edmond, was shot by Officer Ryan Soliday after he had been handcuffed during what began as a routine traffic stop.
What happened after Officer Soliday pulled over the van Edmond Fair was driving is disputed. Michael Padden, a lawyer for the Fair family, claims that Edmond was among a group of people who willingly left a Motel 6 room after a security guard requested they do so. As they were driving away, Officer Soliday pulled the van over.
Padden claims that Edmond told the officer he had an outstanding warrant on kidnapping and rape charges and that he didn’t want to return to jail. Soliday ordered him out of the van, and he was handcuffed and ordered to sit on the ground.
Witnesses in the van say that Edmond was then put in a headlock and forced to the ground by another officer. Officer Soliday’s lawyer, Paul Rogosheske, claims that the handcuffed Edmond attempted to fight the arresting officers, stole one’s Taser and was trying to steal one of their guns.
It was “a life or death situation,” Rogosheske said. “The officers acted within their authority, and used force that was necessary in this case.”
But lawyers for the Fair family dispute that. According to the lawsuit filed on Wednesday, “during a routine traffic stop, and without any justification or defense, Defendant Ryan Soliday shot and killed a defenseless and handcuffed Edmond Fair.”
Police claim to have dashboard camera video of the incident, and that it corroborates Officer Soliday’s version of events, but the family’s attorney notes that he has four witnesses of his own — none of whom were called during the grand jury investigation into the shooting that decided charges against Soliday weren’t warranted.
Watch a report on the shooting from 12 News in Minneapolis below.
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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