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Lawsuit accuses Flint police of ‘extreme and outrageous’ actions in shooting man

The Genesee County Prosecutor’s Office declined to criminally charge the officers for the 2019 shooting, saying their actions were justified.
Published: Nov. 23, 2020 at 5:15 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (11/23/2020) - The City of Flint is facing a lawsuit nearly two years after Flint Police shot and killed a man.

Tommy Kirby died February 24, 2019.

His wife is now suing the City and two police officers who pulled their triggers.

The 41-year-old Flint man was shot and killed by Flint Police on Westbound I-69, near Center Road around 2:30 a.m. that February 2019 morning.

His wife believes the shooting wasn’t justified.

But, the Genesee County Prosecutor said it was. His Office declined to criminally charge the officers, saying they used self defense.

In the lawsuit, Kirby’s wife said the two Flint Police Officers actions were “extreme and outrageous.” She’s suing them and the City for at least $75,000 for wrongful death. She claims they had no right to use excessive force, their actions were “reckless” and the City failed to properly train the officers.

“They were investigating a suspicious person, a suspicious vehicle on Flint’s east side. And then the officers made contact and the pursuit ensued,” Michigan State Police Lt. Duane Zook told ABC12 on February 25, 2019.

The pursuit went from Broadway to southbound I-475 to westbound I-69. It ended near the Center Road entrance to the highway.

When ABC12 arrived at the scene in the early morning hours of Sunday, February 24, 2019, the truck 41-year-old Tommy Kirby was driving was littered with bullet holes. We counted about a dozen in his windshield.

Kirby was inside the truck when MSP said Flint Police officers shot and killed him.

Kirby’s wife is suing two of the Flint Police Officers who pulled their triggers, saying “There was no evidence that Tommy Kirby committed a crime involving infliction of serious physical harm at the time of the use of deadly force. There was no reasonable belief that the officers were in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm.”

Because, the suit claims the officers used a PIT maneuver on the highway, which caused his car to spin 180-degrees and stop. The suit continues that “within seconds” of the car stopping, the officers began firing at Kirby.

The suit also states Kirby’s hands were in the air and he “was unarmed and surrendering” when the officers “executed him.”

As a result of their actions, the lawsuit claims the City of Flint is also responsible for Kirby’s “wrongful death” stating it “failed to train, discipline, monitor and supervise officers regarding the reasonable use of force.”

ABC12 did reach out to the City and Flint Police Chief. It’s important to note that when this occurred a different administration and chief were in place.

City Attorney Angela Wheeler provided this statement: “This is pending litigation, which is now being reviewed by our attorneys. The City of Flint will file a legal response to the claims in the coming days.”

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