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Unarmed Man Shot by Police, Paralyzed

Leon D. Ford, 20

A Shaler man who now uses a wheelchair following a November traffic stop in Larimer sued the city of Pittsburgh, its police leadership and three officers Wednesday, saying his rights were violated when he was shot.

Leon D. Ford, 20, accused officers David Derbish and Andrew Miller and former officer Michael Kosko of assault, excessive force, unlawful search and seizure and violation of due process in the incident. He claimed that acting police Chief Regina McDonald and former chief Nate Harper failed to train, supervise and discipline the officers.

His attorney, Monte Rabner, said that Mr. Ford was stopped, ordered out of the car and then subjected to force because he is Black, adding that such a pattern is common in the city. "We need to fix the problem in this city," said Mr. Rabner, who is White. "If I gave my license and registration [at a traffic stop], that would be enough. … It's just not OK to be treating people this way."

According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, officers Kosko and Miller pulled over Mr. Ford for speeding and suspected that he was someone else. Officer Derbish then arrived, according to the lawsuit.

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