Family sues city in death of son shot by police - East Valley Tribune: News

Family sues city in death of son shot by police

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Posted: Wednesday, April 23, 2003 10:06 am | Updated: 1:52 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

The parents of a man shot and killed by Scottsdale police last year have filed a wrongfuldeath and negligence lawsuit against the city.

Robert E. and Esther Gregory are asking for at least $100,000 in punitive damages and to cover legal and funeral costs in the death of their son Robert D. Gregory, killed April 19, 2002.

The wrongful-death lawsuit, filed April 18 in Maricopa County Superior Court, lists as defendants Scottsdale, the police department and five officers, including Scott Carpenter, the officer who fired the shot that killed Gregory.

Robert and Esther Gregory said they are looking for legal representation after their last attorney, Merrick Firestone, stepped down because of a family emergency. The Gregorys said they had to file the lawsuit without representation, or else lose their rights.

They filed a notice of claim with the city in October, and the Gregorys had up until April 19 to file suit.

They added that they are upset that Scottsdale has failed to release its internal investigation on the shooting. Scottsdale police would not comment on its status.

"We were given a time frame, but the cops don’t have a time frame?" Esther Gregory said. "This is not right."

After weighing their options, Robert Gregory said he and his wife decided to file the lawsuit in order to let the city know they are not giving up their rights. "We are not going to walk away," he said.

Phoenix defense attorney Larry Debus said his office has been in contact with the Gregorys, but has not yet agreed to take the case.

Carpenter, a member of the High Enforcement Arrest Team, was cleared in October of the shooting by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. According to a roughly 1,000-page report on the shooting by Tempe detectives, Robert D. Gregory was in a stolen car when Carpenter and the other officers swooped down on him to serve a felony arrest warrant when he was shot.

The lawsuit questions, among other things, tactics used by the officers during the shooting, calling it "murder."

"His death was approximately caused by the intentional negligence, reckless and gross negligence of said defendants," the suit claims.

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