Father seeks $125 million in shooting death of teen

March 02, 2000|By Tim Craig | Tim Craig,SUN STAFF

The father of Eli McCoy, an unarmed teen-ager who was shot and killed Thanksgiving Day by a Housing Authority police officer, has filed a $125 million wrongful-death civil suit against the city.

The lawsuit charges that the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, the Housing Authority Police Department and Officer Kenneth M. Dean III followed practices and policies that caused the officer to shoot McCoy several times as he was trying to surrender.

"He gave up and did not have any weapon on him, so this was downright murder," Elton McCoysaid yesterday.

Dean, who was investigating a robbery, shot McCoy, 17, three times Nov. 26 after a foot chase that ended behind the 1800 block of Gertrude St. in Walbrook. A woman had pointed him out to police as the young man who had robbed her.

Police said that McCoy refused to take his hand out of his pocket and that Dean thought he was armed. Several witnesses said McCoy was shot while on his knees with his hands in the air.

Preliminary autopsy results found that one bullet hit McCoy's left pants pocket, went through his hand and into his thigh.

A. Dwight Pettit, an attorney representing Elton McCoy, said the shooting and that of Larry Hubbard, 21, the unarmed East Baltimore man fatally shot by police Officer Barry Hamilton on Oct. 6, reflect a need for more intensive training of officers.

The McCoy suit, which was filed Friday in Baltimore Circuit Court, seeks $25 million in compensatory damages and $100 million in punitive damages.

Police officials said internal investigations found that Dean and Hamilton acted properly in their respective cases. Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy is investigating both shootings; her office said yesterday no decision about charges had been made in either case.

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