MPD officers named in wrongful death lawsuit

MPD officers named in wrongful death lawsuit

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A wrongful death lawsuit was filed in federal court against the City of Memphis and MPD officers for the shooting death of a man in March 2016.

The lawsuit names MPD officers Leon Dickson, Brian Moore, and Joshua Crawford, as well as Michael Winfrey, who was the acting interim police director at the time.

Carla Allen Askew filed the suit. The complaint calls the force used by officer Leon Dickson and other officers inappropriate, unwarranted, and unjustifiable.

Alexio Allen, 30, was shot and killed by Memphis police officers at his home after family members made multiple 911 calls saying he was having a mental episode and hallucinating.

"I believe I am being watched. I believe someone is out to kill me," Allen said.

The lawsuit brings into question why officers did not stand outside and wait for CIT officers, trained to handle cases of suspected mental health issues, to arrive.

"Policy and procedure, what they do, how were these people trained, were they trained to handle a situation like that," attorney Randy Fishman said.

Fishman is representing the family and says, above all else, they are looking for answers.

Memphis police said Allen was shot when he refused to comply with the commands of officers and he refused to calm down. According to Memphis Police Department, Allen pointed a rifle at officers during one point of the incident. They said a woman struggled with Allen to get the rifle out of his possession and at some point during that struggle an officer shot Allen after the gun was pointed toward the officer.

"That shotgun is pointed at the direction of my chest. At that time, that's when I fired my weapon," Dickson said.

However, the family disagrees with the MPD version of what happened. The family said Allen did not point a gun at police and said the gun was hidden inside the house.

Deborah Nesbitt, Allen's fiancee, was the one police said was struggling with Allen for the gun. Nesbitt said a struggle never took place.

She claims she told officers a gun was inside the house and she went inside to get the gun to give it to police.

The lawsuit also says Allen was shot in the back of the neck and then two additional times.

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