Claim filed against Alex City, police officer in March shooting - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Claim filed against Alex City, police officer in March shooting death

Emerson Crayton Jr. (Source: Family) Emerson Crayton Jr. (Source: Family)

A claim is being filed with the City of Alexander City and one of its police officers following the March 8th officer-related shooting death of a man at a local restaurant.

Montgomery-based law firm McPhillips Shinbaum sent notice to the City in a letter dated April 14, that it intends to file suit on behalf of the family of Emerson Crayton, Jr., who was shot and killed by an Alex City police officer after leaving the Huddle House on Highway 280.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This report initially indicated that a lawsuit had been filed, but currently that is not the case. The attorney's office is giving notice of a claim prior to a suit being filed.)

[DOCUMENT: McPhillips Shinbaum notice of lawsuit (.pdf)]

Alexander City's attorney, Larkin Radney, says the City has, as of Friday, not received notice of a lawsuit. Radney said the City is waiting on the Alabama Bureau of Investigation to finish its investigation and turn the information over to the District Attorney's office before any other comment would be made.

The suit names the City, police officer Tommy Manesse and others within the Alex City Police Department for which the law firm says is responsible for Manesse's training.

The claims alleges negligence, use of excessive force, negligent training, wantonness, assault, and violation of Crayton's Constitutional rights.

The law firm contends that Officer Manesse's actions were "possibly influenced by racism," as the officer is white and the victim was black.

Following the shooting, the Alex City Police Department issued a statement saying its officer fired his weapon because he could not get out of the way of Crayton's vehicle. The lawsuit says Crayton's vehicle was never in danger of hitting anyone.

Alex City's police chief has since stated that some statement made after the shooting were false.

The ABI is the lead investigative agency due to the officer's involvement. Manasse was placed on paid administrative leave.

The law firm says it will seek monetary damages up to the amount allowed by law and will request a jury trial.

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