City faces additional lawsuit in shooting death of W. Memphis boy - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Janice Broach

City faces additional lawsuit in shooting death of W. Memphis boy

The city of West Memphis and several officials are facing another lawsuit over the shooting death of 12-year-old DeAunta Farrow.

Farrow was walking next to his cousin Unseld Nance, Jr., when a West Memphis officer shot and killed him at the Steeplechase Apartments.

In the lawsuit, Unseld Nance, and his son are asking for $85 million dollars from West Memphis police, the mayor and the city. The Nances are demanding a jury trial.

The lawsuit claims Nance is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder from witnessing the shooting death of his cousin.

Unseld Nance Sr., walked back to his barbershop in Earle after he said he did not want to talk about the lawsuit until he can get the okay from his attorney.

14-year-old Unseld Nance Jr., was with 12-year-old Deaunta Farrow the night he was shot and killed by a West Memphis police officer, Erik Sammis, who thought he had a gun that turned out to be a toy.

The law suit claims Sammis had a propensity for excessive force. And the West Memphis police used "apartheid like" policing methods.

The lawsuit also claims the Arkansas state police had no right to detain the 14-year-old boy and question him after he had just witnessed the shooting death of his cousin.

And claims state police would not let Unseld Nance's father take him home until he gave a statement.

"Unseld, as he watched his cousin lying on the ground dying they handcuffed him knowing that they had made a mistake. Handcuffed this 14 year old and put him up against a tree. Offered him no assistance, treated him like a criminal. Then took him to the police station in handcuffs, held him for six hours," says Bailey.

Claudia Malone was there just after DeAunta was shot. She believes the lawsuit is justified.

"He is just a minor. They don't supposed to be doing stuff like that. I mean it was already an incident of is cousin just getting shot. I think Unseld Sr., has just as much a right to file a lawsuit as anybody else."

People at the apartment complex where DeAunta was shot say his death will not be forgotten.

"It's just wrong for killing an innocent kid like that. He had a toy gun a water gun. It's just wrong," said one resident.

Bailey says well-known Judge Susan Weber Wright will hear the case in Little Rock.

That is the same judge who found President Bill Clinton in contempt in the Paula Jones case and put Susan McDougal in jail.


Click here to email Janice Broach.
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