GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man has filed a lawsuit against the Grand Rapids Police Department and the city of Grand Rapids after an officer accidentally fired his gun. He says the incident has caused him emotional distress.
In the federal lawsuit, Grand Rapids resident Daevionne Smith is asking for $7.5 million, claiming assault, battery and gross negligence.
Court documents show Smith is also looking for a public apology to him and the community, and he wants all GRPD officers to be required to undergo cultural sensitivity training.
On Friday, the city released a statement saying it had not yet been served.
“To date, the City has not been served with any lawsuit brought by Mr. Smith. If and when the City is served with such a suit, it will respond in accordance with the applicable court rules and within the confines of the relevant law.“City attorney Anita Hitchcock
On Dec. 9, 2021, officers with the Grand Rapids Police Department spotted a vehicle they believed to be stolen. The driver, Daevionne Smith, pulled off near Cass Avenue and Sycamore Street SE and went inside a home. Officers set up a perimeter, and once the driver went back outside they surrounded him.
While they were moving in on the driver, Officer Gregory Bauer fired his gun. No one was injured, but it did damage a home.
“I thought my life was ending,” Smith told News 8 the day after it happened.
Body cam footage later released shows Bauer immediately said it was him, and that he tripped.
Bauer has been charged with careless discharge of a firearm causing damage less than $50. The maximum penalty for that misdemeanor is 90 days in jail and a fine of $100.