KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – A federal judge has sided with the Kansas City police officer who killed a man near the Power and Light District in 2013.
The family of Ryan Stokes sued the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners in federal court after Stokes was shot and killed outside of a parking garage July 28, 2013.
The lawsuit claims Officer William Thompson used excessive force and wasn't properly trained when the deadly shooting happened.
Thompson was on patrol the night of the shooting with another officer then they heard a radio report of a robbery involving two men who had a similar general description as Stokes.
Thompson testified that he saw Stokes running toward him with a gun in his hand, at which point Thompson shot Stokes.
Stokes’ family contested these details, saying he was unarmed and only had a cell phone in his hand when he died.
Thompson and the other officers involved were cleared of wrongdoing by a grand jury, and some officers were even awarded commendations. The Kansas City Police Department revoked the commendations of two of those officers in September of 2018.
The lawsuit filed by the family targeted Thompson, the board of commissioners and then Chief Darryl Forte. The latest court documents show that Judge Brian Wimes determined that Thompson thought Stokes was armed when the officer fired his weapon and that the incident was could not be proven to be a malicious act, meaning Thompson should be granted official immunity.