[WATCH] Flint Township to Consider $1.39M Settlement of Fatal Police Shooting Lawsuit

FLINT TWP., MI – Flint Township trustees will discuss paying $1.39 million to settle an excessive force lawsuit filed by the family of a man shot and killed by a township officer in 2014.

Dominique Lewis was shot and killed on July 16, 2014, during a traffic stop on Flushing Road near Eldorado Street in Flint Township.

The family of Lewis filed the lawsuit in April 2015 in Detroit U.S. District Court after Lewis’ death. Flint Township Police Department and township police Officer Matthew Needham, who fired the fatal shots, are named as defendants in the case.

There will be a special meeting on Monday, Nov. 20, according to the township’s attorney G. Gus Morris. The meeting will go into closed session to discuss the potential settlement, he said.

The $1.39 million settlement was approved by Lewis’ family, according to federal court documents filed Nov. 15. A hearing to approve the settlement is set for Nov. 30, Morris said.

Morris said Flint Township’s insurance coverage will pay for the attorney costs and a settlement should the trustees approve one.

“The people who insure police officers are very reluctant to try cases that involve the police because of the anti-police sentiment,” Morris said. “We feel still despite the settlement that the video establishes that the officer did not use excessive force in the circumstances that he was faced with.”

Lewis was killed after Needham arrived as a backup officer to assist a Flint Township officer who made a traffic stop on Flushing Road near Eldorado Street.

Dashcam video and police reports obtained by MLive-The Flint Journal through the Freedom of Information Act show a Flint Township officer initiated a traffic stop of a white Chevrolet Impala after the officer claimed the vehicle was clocked traveling 13 miles per hour over the speed limit.

Lewis was a passenger in the back seat of the stopped car.

The officer claimed she wanted to search the vehicle after she thought she smelled marijuana inside the vehicle, according to police reports.

The officer also said the passengers were “moving around in the vehicle like they may have been trying to hide something,” according to police reports.

The 12-minute, 8-second dashcam video released by police to MLive-The Flint Journal shows the officer who pulled over the car removing the driver from the vehicle and frisking her nearly 10 minutes into the stop.

The officer then allows the driver to remove her young daughter from the back seat of the car.

The video then shows the officer remove a male adult from the front passenger side of the vehicle.

As the officer begins to pat-down the passenger, the video shows the Impala beginning to shake. The lawsuit claims Lewis began climbing into the vehicle’s driver’s seat.

“Hey, hold up,” the officer who made the traffic stop says in the video as the car continues to shake.

The officer told state police investigators that Lewis started the car and attempted to flee the scene, according to police reports.

For full story visit: http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2017/11/family_of_man_killed_in_2014_b.html

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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