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Published: Monday, 11/8/2010

Family sues city, officer in fatal shooting of Toledo woman

The family of a woman who was fatally shot by a police officer has filed a lawsuit against the city, the Toledo Police Department, and the officer involved.

Officer Diane Chandler was also named in a separate lawsuit filed by Nathaniel Lewis who, according to the complaint, was hit by the officer's police vehicle in an unrelated incident.

"Both of the incidents addressed in the lawsuits were completely avoidable. Officer Chandler's dangerous and unnecessarily violent behavior caused unjust harm to Mr. Lewis, Ms. Hicks and their families," said a news release released by Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, which filed both complaints.

Linda Hicks was shot and killed by Officer Chandler who was responding to a call of a mentally ill person who had threatened people with scissors. After a confrontation, the officer fired four shots, hitting Ms. Hicks in the head, chest, and abdomen.

Officer Chandler was cleared of criminal charges when a Lucas County grand jury declined to indict her on a charge of murder with a gun specification. The firearms review board concluded Officer Chandler acted in self-defense.

The 18-page complaint was filed by Evelyn Patterson, who is Ms. Hicks' niece and administrator of her estate. The complaint alleges that the officer violated Ms. Hicks' civil rights when she used "illegal, excessive, or unjustified force in a reckless or willful manner."

The complaint filed by Mr. Lewis alleges that he was stopped after a foot and vehicle pursuit with police when he was run into by Officer Chandler's vehicle, causing injury. The incident occurred on Jan. 28.

Both lawsuits ask for a jury trial and monetary damages.



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