Cops Shoot Man to Death After He Didn’t Show ID While Rescuing Cat: Report

John Bracken | Courthouse News Service

DOTHAN, Ala. (CN) – An Alabama man was shot to death by a police officer after refusing to show his driver’s license while dropping off a stray dog at the local animal shelter, his estate claims in a federal lawsuit.

The estate of Robert Earl Lawrence sued the city of Dothan, Ala., in Middle Alabama federal court on Thursday, asserting claims of excessive force, assault and battery. The complaint also names as defendants two police officers, Chris Summerlin and Adrian Woodruff, and former Dothan Police Chief Greg Benton.

According to the Dec. 29 complaint, Lawrence went to the Dothan Animal Shelter in December 2014 to drop off a stray dog. Employees at the shelter allegedly demanded he provide them with a driver’s license as a form of identification.

Lawrence refused the demand “based on his personal convictions and beliefs,” though he did give the shelter his name, the complaint states. A shelter employee then contacted the police.

Summerlin, the first officer to arrive on the scene, allegedly repeated the demand that Lawrence show his driver’s license, and Lawrence again declined, the complaint states.

According to the lawsuit, the officer then “refused to permit Lawrence to leave without providing identification (in the form of a driver’s license) and took Lawrence to the ground.” (Parentheses in original.)

The dispute over the driver’s license escalated as the officer allegedly attempted to place Lawrence under arrest.

After being allowed to get up, Lawrence “put his hands up and backed away from Summerlin in order to avoid being arrested,” at which point the officer used a stun gun on him, the complaint states.

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  • techiewayne

    Lawrence’s estate seeks an unspecified amount of compensatory and punitive damages – The lawsuit needs to be for 100 million dollars and DO NOT SETTLE for less than 10 million they pay all of your lawyers fees AND AN ADMISSION OF GUILT!

    • Natural_Texan

      Right! Yet no amount of money will change or punish the officers or the Department.. the TAXPAYERS will pay it. And this is a civil suit, not a criminal proceeding. No one will go to jail or lose their credentials.

  • James J. Kennedy

    Fucking stupid ass pigs …….. so tired of this country

  • michael92064

    There is video that has not been made public