GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A lawsuit has been filed after a Grand Rapids police officer accidentally fired his gun during a pursuit.
Daevionne Smith is suing the Grand Rapids Police Department, the city of Grand Rapids and Officer Gregory Bauer for $7.5 million to compensate him for “mental and physical anguish, loss of enjoyment, and the post-traumatic stress.”
In the federal lawsuit, Smith’s attorney claims the defendants violated constitutional due process and the state’s “reckless, wanton use, or negligent discharge of firearm” statute, and gross negligence causing assault, battery, and severe mental anguish and suffering.
Smith is also requesting cultural sensitivity training be mandatory for all Grand Rapids police officers, city employees and elected officials.
The federal lawsuit states Smith is requesting a jury trial.
The lawsuit stems from an incident on Dec. 9 when Daevionne Smith drove to his father’s house near Cass and Sycamore streets around 10:30 p.m. He parked his car and went inside. When he returned outside, GRPD had surrounded his car.
According to the department, officers saw a car that “possibly” matched the description of a stolen one linked to other crimes, so they followed it and set up a perimeter while they waited for Smith to leave.
When Smith came out, GRPD officers moved in. Police say it’s during these moments that an officer slipped while, “running down a sloped area” and discharged his gun. The bullet hit a nearby building and did not hurt anybody, although Smith says he hurt his arm after the shot startled him.
After the weapon was fired, police went on to learn Smith’s car, while “similar,” was not the one in question.
Officer Bauer is charged with one count of careless discharge of a firearm causing property damage under $50.
If found guilty, Bauer faces a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail and a fine of $100.