The wife of a man shot by a member of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is now suing the department and the officer responsible.
We have the details on the lawsuit, and why the IMPD is being sued in the first place.
Kevin Hicks’ Shooting
On April 5, 2016, Heather Hicks had had enough. She reportedly called IMPD to remove her husband from their car, as he repeatedly hit her in front of their young son while she was driving. She pulled over to a Marathon gas station where Officer Robert Carmichael was waiting.
What happened next is based partially on video evidence, and partially on eyewitness testimony. Carmichael came over to the vehicle to try and get Kevin Hicks to exit the vehicle. The situation quickly escalated.
Hicks began to get physical with Carmichael. Punches were thrown and a struggle commenced. The fight went to the ground and eventually, Carmichael got on top, pulled his weapon, and fired. Witnesses and Carmichael both stated that Hicks was reaching for Carmichael’s gun.
Carmichael was later be cleared of any wrongdoing in the case, but Heather Hicks says, via her lawsuit, that Carmichael and the IMPD are owed some responsibility.
Heather Hicks’ Lawsuit
Heather Hicks’s lawsuit contends that her husband was giving up when Carmichael fired on him. She contends that the IMPD failed to train officers on the use of force when force was being misused, and discipline those officers who use force improperly.
Part of this lawsuit stems from the fact that internal IMPD policy dictates that the convening of a firearms review board is required when an officer draws their weapon and fires.
But, according to a report posted by The Indianapolis Star, they found that 19 incidents between 2015 and 2016, including the shooting of Kevin Hicks, were not reviewed in this manner. The lawsuit contends that:
“Policies and procedures such as the firearms review board are a necessary part of adequately monitoring, supervising, training, re-training, correcting, disciplining and controlling members of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department in their use of force, including deadly force.”
Not the Only Lawsuit
This is the third lawsuit involving a fatal shooting and the IMPD, as lawsuits regarding the 2015 shooting and death of Andre Green, as well as the shooting and death of Aaron Bailey in 2017 are currently pending in federal court.
Across the country, more of these shootings are happening, like the recent shootings of Stephon Clark and Saheed Vassell. More and more, when it does not appear justice is served, victims will seek justice through lawsuits.