The family of an unarmed D.C.-area Black man who was shot and killed by a Washington police officer has filed a lawsuit, Reuters reports.
Family members of 31-year-old Terrence Sterling say he posed no threat when he was shot on Sept. 11 after he crashed his motorcycle into a police cruiser.
According to police, officers saw Sterling riding his motorcycle erratically and pursued him for several blocks before he was shot.
The lawsuit claims that Trainer and his partner, who was not named in the lawsuit, failed to properly activate their body cameras. The officers reportedly turned them on only after shooting and killing Sterling.
Authorities said Sterling intentionally rammed the vehicle, but the lawsuit alleged Sterling’s motorcycle sideswiped the vehicle as he veered away from the police cruiser after it stopped in an intersection to block his path.
Demonstration’s followed Sterling’s death in D.C., where roughly half of the population is Black. The protests came amid increasing anger at U.S. police for killing African-Americans across the country for more than two years.
The suit, filed in federal D.C. court, alleges that Officer Brian Trainer shot Sterling in his neck and back from “the safety of a police vehicle despite the fact that Mr. Sterling was unarmed and posed no danger to Officer Trainer or any other person.”
The family is suing for $50 million, and allege wrongful death and negligence.
A representative for the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department said it has a policy not to comment on pending litigation.