GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids man is suing the police department for millions after an officer said he accidently fired his gun in December of 2021, hitting a home.
The lawsuit filed in federal court this week by Daevionne Smith, a cousin of Breonna Taylor, alleges assault, battery, gross negligence and emotional distress.
Smith says he is still traumatized by what happened the night of Dec. 9 when he encountered GRPD officers.
“I get real jittery, I start sweating. You know it’s like, it’s a fearful moment because you don’t know what’s going to happen when you see a GRPD officer or any officer,” Smith said.
GRPD officers originally thought they found a stolen vehicle the night the officer fired the shot. Smith was driving the vehicle, stopped, and went in a home that was quickly surrounded. It turned out the vehicle was not stolen.
Body camera video only shows what happened after Officer Greg Bauer fired his gun, hitting the home. You can hear the officer in the recording telling Smith he tripped.
Smith says he has not been given an apology for what happened. The lawsuit is asking for $7.5 million plus attorney fees.
Officer Greg Bauer is facing a misdemeanor charge of careless discharge of a firearm. The maximum penalty is 90 days in jail with a $100 fine.
City Attorney Anita Hitchcock sent a statement to News 8 in response to a request for comment.
“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
John Beason III, Smith’s attorney, says his client is calling for change in the department and additional training.
“It’s just been apathy, it’s been daily apathy basically on behalf of city officials and the police department, so that’s why we are where we are today,” Beason said.