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Suit Says Cops Needlessly Shot Arkansas Man

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (CN) - Police needlessly shot and paralyzed a man who experienced a mental breakdown after being taken off anti-psychotic medication, a lawsuit claims.

John "Jack" Morrison Raines III sued two health care centers, their employees and insurance companies, and three Conway, Ark. police officers on behalf of John Morrison Raines IV.

The complaint alleges medical malpractice, excessive force and negligence.

Jack Raines says Counseling Associates Inc. abruptly stopped John Raines' Clozapine prescription without a replacement to treat his schizophrenia.

Raines was taken in an ambulance to Conway Regional Health System "in a confused and paranoid state" a month later, according to the complaint, but he was released after a few hours.

Two days after being released from the hospital, Raines had his fateful encounter with police, the complaint alleges.

"Without his medication, John Raines continued to suffer withdrawal and to decompensate. On March 3, 2013, while experiencing an obvious psychotic episode at approximately 1:48 p.m., John Raines was shot multiple times by the Conway police officers," the lawsuit states. "As a result of the forgoing negligent acts, omissions and excessive force, John Raines suffered multiple injuries including paralysis. Despite his life threatening injuries, John Raines was forcibly restrained again with the use of handcuffs that further aggravated his injuries."

The cops were responding to a call "that a man had been stabbed or cut by his roommate," according to the complaint. When they arrived, they found an "obviously distraught" Raines on the sidewalk outside his apartment waiving a pocket knife.

They Tased Raines and then began shooting him, the Raineses allege.

"The Conway police officers fired approximately 18 rounds at John Raines resulting in five wounds to Mr. Raines," the complaint states. "While lying on the ground in obvious pain and life-threatening injuries, John Raines was handcuffed. He was not a threat to the Conway police officers or any other individuals."

The lawsuit claims neither Counseling Associates nor Conway Regional properly diagnosed or monitored Raines. It also says Conway police did not need to use lethal force against him.

The Raineses seek punitive damages. They are represented by Paul James of James, Carter & Coulter in Little Rock.

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