Estate Says Officer Killed Without Cause | Courthouse News Service
Thursday, November 30, 2023
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Estate Says Officer Killed Without Cause

NORFOLK, Va. (CNS) - City police used unwarranted deadly force when they shot and killed the mentally ill man while attempting to evict him from his apartment, the man's estate administrator claims in court.

Lawrence Faine, a schizophrenic, was a resident in Calvary Towers, an affordable housing complex serving low income renters in Norfolk.

In a lawsuit filed in Norfolk City Circuit Court, estate administrator Douglas Hornsby says Faine's mental health began to deteriorate in December 2013, after he stopped taking his antipsychotic medication.

Soon, his declining condition made it difficult for property managers at the Calvary Towers Apartment complex to deal with him.

As his mental worsened, Faine stopped paying his rent, and in May 2014, Dominion Virginia Power shut off his electricity due to nonpayment, the complaint says.

On May 29, 2014, Norfolk police officers were called to the apartment complex to check on Faine, but they found him uncommunicative and unwilling to open his door more than a crack.

On June 4, 2014, a Norfolk magistrate issued an emergency custody order to Faine, authorizing his detention and transportation to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.

That same day employees of Norfolk Adult Protective Services spoke with Faine in a relatively calm manner in his apartment about getting help. Their attempts were unsuccessful.

The same afternoon, Hornsby says, Norfolk police officers again returned to Calvary Towers Apartments, this time accompanied by apartment managers, and employees of Norfolk Adult Protective Services, to execute the emergency custody order.

Faine again his door, but upon seeing the defendant officer, identified in court documents as "C. Seger," and a property manager, he immediately tried to lock his visitors out.

According to court documents, Seger prevented Faine from closing the door, by placing his foot between the it and the doorjamb. The complaint says the officer then pushed his way in to the apartment, drew his weapon and fired three shots, killing Faine.

Hornsby says Faine exhibited no violent intentions toward the officer, and was a known to have a mental illness.

The estate administrator claims Seger failed to follow proper police procedures by allow non-law enforcement personnel to accompany him as he executed the custody order.

Hornsby also accuses officer of further violating those procedures by using lethal force instead of crisis intervention techniques.

The estate seeks $2.5 million in damages for the wrongful death of Lawrence Faine.

Hornsby is represented by attorney Robert Haddad of Virginia Beach. Va.

Representatives of the Norfolk Police Department and Calvary Towers apartments could not immediately be reached for comment.

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