Director Rallings deposed in Darrius Stewart wrongful death lawsuit

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings was called for a deposition in a lawsuit concerning the death of Darrius Stewart.

Stewart was shot and killed in a traffic stop in 2015 by former Memphis police officer Conner Schilling.

Schilling was not charged in the case and has since been given a disability retirement.

Stewart's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Rallings was deposed by Stewart's family lawyer, Carlos Moore, as part of a federal lawsuit filed by the family.

"Trying to see what Director Rallings feelings are about Schilling's actions that fateful night," Moore said.

Moore asked why Rallings, as the administrative hearing officer, did not move to fire Schilling after his first DUI charge in 2014.

That charge came about a year before Schilling pulled over the car in which Stewart was a passenger. There ended up being a struggle between the two, and the officer fired his weapon, killing the 19 year old.

"My client probably would be alive at this point had they terminated Mr. Schilling," Moore said. "Being deputy chief, Rallings was the hearing the officer for the use of force hearing to determine whether or not his actions were justified."

Schilling was eventually allowed to get a disability retirement with a pension. Moore also dug into whether or not it's police policy to question passengers during a traffic stop.

The civil trial against Schilling is scheduled to start in August 2018. The Department of Justice previously cited "insufficient evidence" for not charging Schilling in the Stewart case despite a recommendation from Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich.

Schilling was issued a citation for failure of proper radio procedure and handcuffing techniques after the death of Stewart.

WMC Action News 5 was not allowed into today's deposition to hear the director's answers, but WMC5 did reach out to Director Rallings for comment after his deposition. We have yet to hear back.

MPD, however, said they do not comment on ongoing litigation.

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