Man shot by deputy sues for $10 million

Grand Rapids
Deputies involved shooting Grand Rapids 090317_443740

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man who was shot by a Kent County sheriff’s deputy in 2017 is suing the county, then-sheriff and deputy for $10 million.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court Monday, Yusef Phillips alleges his constitutional rights were violated, that the sheriff’s department failed to properly train and discipline the deputy and that the department and deputy were negligent.

Phillips was shot in September 2017 at the Burton Landing’s apartment complex in Grand Rapids. Authorities say they went there to arrest Phillips and another man in a drug trafficking case. Authorities say Deputy Andrew Hinds and other responding officers ordered Phillips to get on the ground. Hinds said he saw Phillips reach for his waistband, at which point he shot him in the chest.

Phillips was seriously injured. His lawsuit says he still has reduced mobility.

Later, authorities said the only thing Phillips could have had in his hands at the time of the shooting was a set of car keys.

Though he called the shooting “completely wrong,” Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said he would not charge Hinds with a crime because he could not prove that Hinds wasn’t acting in self-defense.

In his lawsuit, Phillips alleges that Hinds used excessive force, that Sheriff Lawrence Stelma didn’t properly train Hinds and that the department didn’t have appropriate policies in place. The suit also alleges that Hinds wasn’t fully investigated or disciplined.

Phillips asked for millions for medical expenses, pain and suffering, ongoing disability, psychological injuries, punitive damages and legal fees.

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