Family of man shot, killed by police in 2010 files wrongful death suit


The family of a man shot and killed by police back in 2010 has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed against the Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, MO, Officer David Epperson and Sgt. Shawn Todd, alleges that their actions deprived Kenny Gurley of his rights and protection under the Constitution and United States laws. It goes on to allege that Epperson and Todd used excessive force and unlawfully assaulted, battered, shot and killed Gurley.

On Dec. 29, 2010, police responded to a prowler call in a vacant home at 111th and Bristol terraces. Court documents said the officers heard someone inside and, with one's gun drawn, yelled who they were and gave orders to come out.

Court documents said Gurley and his cousin Robert Bowlin were inside at the time.

Earlier that day, Gurley had been acting erratically, according to witness interviews. Bowlin told police that he knew "Gurley had a history of drug use, including methamphetamines, which caused him to become paranoid, delusional and sometimes unpredictable."

Gurley's cousin said he was acting "crazy" at the home of his fiancee, which sat behind the abandoned home, and when Gurley said he wanted to check out the abandoned house, Bowlin thought it was a good way to get him away from other people.

When the two men left the house, court documents said Gurley was holding a clothing rod and a piece of pipe and Todd, seeing them as a weapon, punched Gurley in the jaw. Epperson then came around from the other side of the house and shot Gurley.

Gurley died as a result of the gunshot injury.

The lawsuit alleges that the officers weren't provoked by Gurley and had no probable cause or reasonable suspicion to believe that Gurley had or would commit a violent crime. It went on to say that Gurley never posed a reasonable or credible threat of violence that justified the quick escalation of force.

It was filed by Donna Lancaster, Gurley's mother.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.


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