Gastonia Police Brutality: Mother’s Wrongful Death Lawsuit Accuses Cop of Killing Her Son Without Just Cause

May 25, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

Cleveland County resident Debra Keeter has filed a federal lawsuit suing the city of Gastonia and former police detective Scott Barnes for her son’s North Carolina wrongful death. Terry Adam Boone died after Barnes shot him in the back of the head on May 1, 2008.

The police shooting happened while Boone was fighting with a group of men who had threatened his life. Police claimed that the 20-year-old was stabbing one of the men when Barnes arrived at the scene. The former police detective says that he shot Boone because he went after him with a knife.

According to Keeter’s North Carolina police brutality complaint, police later found out that Barnes had lied when he said that he saw Boone stabbing someone else. She is also accusing the police of withholding key information from investigators.

Barnes was let go from the Gastonia Police Department in August 2008. Officials say that his firing is not connected to Boone’s shooting.

In November 2009, the district attorney’s office determined that the former Gastonia police detective would not be criminally charged in Boone’s shooting because they found that he acted appropriately when he shot Boone, who allegedly posed a physical threat.

However, Keeter’s North Carolina wrongful death lawsuit contends that Boone was far enough away from Barnes that the former was not a danger to the detective or those around them. She accuses the Gastonia Police Department of failing to provide investigators with information regarding Barnes’s past transgressions as a cop.

Excessive Use of Police Force
Unnecessary use of police force is never justified, and it is usually suspects and innocent bystanders that end up suffering. Unfortunately, many victims and their families fail to realize is that they can file a North Carolina police brutality claim against the liable parties.

Federal lawsuit alleges Gastonia police officer killed man without cause in 2008, Gaston Gazette, May 3, 2010

Did Gastonia Police Officer Commit North Carolina Police Brutality When He Fatally Shot Man Holding Knife?, North Carolina Injury Blog, September 22, 2009

Related Web Resource:
Police Brutality and Misconduct, New York Times


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