David family seeking a half million from city in wrongful death suit
in fed suit
By Becky Brooks
The estate and family of James David Sr., who was killed after being shot multiple times by Bellevue Police two years ago on Sept. 22, is seeking $500,000 in a civil action filed Thursday against the City of Bellevue and other parties in the Ohio Northern Federal District Court in Toledo, according to Internet records.
The James David Sr. Estate, Karen David, James David Jr. and Stacy Thompson filed the action against the City of Bellevue, the City of Bellevue Police Department, Dennis Brandal, Jeffrey Matter and Erik Lawson, records show.
The presiding judge will be David A. Katz in the personal injury suit.
A jury is being demanded in the case.
Bellevue Law Director David Wallingford said Friday evening he had not yet received a copy of the suit nor was aware of it.
Mayor Donald Berkey said he was not aware of the federal suit either.
On the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 22, James David Sr., 60, was shot on his front porch at 314 Union St. by two Bellevue Police officers.
According to Gazette stories, police received a report from a Greenwood Heights resident, James Armstrong, just before 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 22 that a man was in the area brandishing a handgun. Officers found David sitting on the front porch of his home holding a gun.
The officers responding to the scene were Sgt. Jeff Matter and Patrolman Erik Lawson. Brandal is city police chief and held the post at that time.
Reports from police noted that the officers talked to Armstrong at a Greenwood Heights apartment complex; he reported a man was brandishing a handgun and pointed toward the David property on Union Street. Lawson, in his report on the incident, noted he identified himself and the man on the porch of the Union Street home jumped up and moved away toward the residence, stopped and turned back toward him pointing a gun and allegedly aimed at Lawson. Lawson fired as did Sgt. Matter.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation handled the investigation into the shooting while the two officers were placed on desk duty.
A report from Lawson indicated that David’s handgun, a Ruger, was loaded.
David’s family and friends questioned whether police accounts were accurate. They contended police fired 24 shots and believed David may have been sleeping on the porch when police approached him. Neighbors of the apartment complex also told the city council there had been problems with the residents at the complex for over 12 years.
BCI&I’s report showed the officers discharged 24 casings between them, but the did not include how many times David was shot. The 99-page report also did not include a toxicology report, but an interview with David’s wife included information that the man had been having hearing problems. The report also showed that David’s wife, Karen, had made complaints about residents at the Greenwood Heights apartments and she had contacted the landlord twice in four days prior to the shooting complaining about tenants. Police records showed that several residents of the complex had multiple arrests for assorted crimes.
At the time, Brandal told the Gazette that James David Sr. had no criminal record and police had no previous complaints involving him.
In November 2012, a Sandusky County Grand Jury cleared Lawson and Matter of any wrongdoing in David’s shooting death.
A report from BCI&I, according to a Gazette story, concluded that interviews from witnesses and neighbors painted a picture of a neighborhood dispute that had turned deadly.