City in Kansas Settles With Black Driver Shot by Rookie Officer

September 29, 2020

The city of Lawrence, Kan., has agreed to pay $80,000 to settle an excessive force lawsuit filed by a Black man who was shot by a rookie police officer in 2018 during a traffic stop.

Akira Lewis sued the city, two officers, the police department and the police chief after he was shot. He alleged the officers used excessive force and that the traffic stop was racially motivated.

The city contended Lewis caused the confrontation by unreasonably refusing to get out of his car.

Under the settlement approved Friday, neither the city or Lewis accepted liability for the shooting, The Lawrence Journal-World reported.

Lewis was shot when he was pulled over by officers Ian McCann and Brindley Blood. Lewis refused to get out of his car or give the officers his identification. A police video shows McCann trying to pull Lewis from the car.

When Lewis began hitting McCann, Blood shot him. She said later she meant to use her Taser but drew her gun instead. An aggravated battery charge against her was dropped and she later left the force.

Lewis was sentenced to a year of probation after pleading no contest to battery of a law enforcement officer.

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