PHILADELPHIA (CN) – Police shot a 17-year-old four times in the back for no reason while the boy was driving lawfully with minor passengers, he claims in a federal complaint.
Though the complaint Rahan Kelley filed Monday says “plaintiff did nothing to cause” the July 19 shooting, news reports on the incident quote police as telling a different story.
In a probable-cause affidavit for a search warrant, Central Berks Regional police reportedly said Reading police officer Santiago DeJesus had pursued the teen’s vehicle because the occupants were acting suspiciously.
One of the passengers in the car told investigators, according to the affidavit, that they did not pull over when the officer turned on his emergency lights and siren because one of them had a gun.
The officer eventually cornered the car on a dead-end street and says he exited his patrol vehicle with his gun drawn.
With all of the occupants ignoring the officer’s demand to show their hands, the driver put the car in reverse and accelerated, according to the affidavit.
Officer Jesus said he fired nine shots because he felt his life was in danger. In addition to the four shots that hit 17-year-old Kelley, one shot grazed the back of an 18-year-old passenger’s head, the Reading Eagle reported.
Kelley, who was in critical condition after the shooting, filed suit against DeJesus, the city of Reading, the Reading Police Department and Police Chief William Heim.
“Plaintiff had no chance of avoiding being shot in the back by Defendant DeJesus,” the complaint says.
Alleging negligence, reckless disregard, and violations his due process and equal protection rights, Kelley seeks punitive damages.
The teen is represented by David Dautrick of Dautrick & Dautrick.
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