PEORIA, Ill. (CN) – A widow whose husband was shot to death by police while wielding a sword and a knife sued East Peoria and two police officers for wrongful death in Federal Court.
Micke Craft claims that her 48-year-old husband, Samuel Craft, was despondent and suicidal when a neighbor called police on Dec. 15, 2009.
Officers Keith McElyea and Anthony Fisher confronted him outside of his apartment, the widow says.
“Samuel never made any verbal threats of harm to McElyea and Fisher,” the complaint states.
“When Samuel was approximately 20-30 feet away from McElyea and Fisher, McElyea and Fisher fired their weapons at Samuel. … After the shooting, McElyea and Fisher falsely accused Samuel of engaging in conduct which justified the shooting,” according to the complaint.
Micke Craft seeks damages for excessive force, failure to properly train officers in dealing with the mentally ill and wrongful death. She is represented by Louis Meyer of Jackowiak Law Offices in Chicago.
East Peoria Police Chief Ed Papis, who commended the officers for showing restraint in dealing with Samuel Craft, claimed that Samuel Craft had closed to within 10 feet of the officers after being ordered several times to put down his weapons, The Associated Press reported.