Girlfriend Files Lawsuit Against Police For Shooting Mentally Disturbed Pennsylvania Man


A woman from Mercer County, Pa., is suing two unidentified officers and their police department after a shooting that left her unarmed boyfriend dead on Thanksgiving in 2011.

According to Courthouse News Service, 27-year-old Donteau Napier’s estate alleges in Federal Court that Southwest Mercer County Regional Police officers fatally shot the mentally disturbed man as he stood with his hands raised.

Police Chief Riley Smoot Jr. says he can't comment on the federal lawsuit filed by Taliea Robinson. She is the person who manages the Ira B. Levigne Manor public housing complex in Farrell, Pa., and is Napier’s fiancée. Robinson called police to report that he was carrying a weapon, suffering from bipolar disorder, and talking about having a shootout with police.

Two officers responded from the police department, which serves Farrell and nearby towns.

Napier was fatally shot by the officers outside a vehicle, but it was later determined that he did not have a gun.

The complaint claims that officers violated Napier’s rights to be free from unreasonable search and seizure and excessive force, and caused wrongful death. Reimbursment was also demanded for Napier’s pain and suffering and economic damages, including punitive damages, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

According to the complaint, Napier was "clearly emotionally disturbed, but not a threat,” and claimed that the officers shot him from "less than 60 feet away."

Napier’s attorney, Michael Pribanic, could not be reached for comment.


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