CHICAGO (CN) – The family of yet another teen shot and killed by a Chicago police officer filed a federal lawsuit against the city, claiming the officer fired his gun without justification.
Sgt. John Poulos shot 19-year-old Kajuan Raye of Dolton, Ill., in the West Engelwood neighborhood of Chicago last week after responding to a battery call. Poulos says he thought Raye matched the description of the suspect.
According to lawsuit filed Tuesday in Chicago federal court by Raye’s mother Karonisha Ramsey, “Poulos approached Raye, and a foot pursuit ensued.”
The officer shot Raye twice and, according to the complaint, “claimed in statements provided after the shooting that Raye pointed a weapon at him.”
However, after a thorough search of the area, Ramsey says the police department didn’t find any weapons.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office found that Raye was killed by a gunshot in the back.
“[The] actions of Poulos were intentional, willful and wanton and/or committed with reckless indifference and disregard for decedent’s constitutional rights,” Ramsey’s complaint states.
Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson stripped Poulos of his weapon and badge on Saturday. The officer was already on desk duty following the incident.
“Based on the little information we know at this point, I have concerns about this incident and feel this decision is in the best interest of the department and the people of Chicago as we await a methodical and impartial investigation into exactly what transpired,” Johnson said in a statement.
Three years ago, Poulos shot and killed another man who was running away from him while off duty and returning home from his family’s bar, according to a Chicago Tribune report.
Poulos suspected Ricky Rozelle, 28, was a burglar and said Rozelle threatened to kill him but no weapon was found at the scene. Rozelle’s family also has a lawsuit pending against the officer.
According to the Tribune, Poulos has had at least nine complaints filed against him throughout his almost 16-year career with the police department.
Ramsey is suing Poulos and Chicago for claims of excessive force and wrongful death, among other allegations. She is represented by Michael Oppenheimer of Erickson & Oppenheimer in Chicago.
Chicago’s legal department said the city does not have any comment on the incident or the pending litigation.
In August, Superintendent Johnson filed formal administrative charges to fire the officer who fatally shot black teenager Laquan McDonald in 2014, along with four other officers who were at the scene.