By Associated Press - Tuesday, February 4, 2020

CHESTER, S.C. (AP) - Family members of a South Carolina man who was fatally shot by police in November filed a wrongful death lawsuit Monday against the police department and the city and store where the shooting happened.

Lawyers for the family of Ariane Lamont McCree, 28, filed the lawsuit at the Chester County courthouse following a march of about 200 people rallying in support, The Herald of Rock Hill reported.

It’s been just over two months since McCree was fatally shot after he was accused of pulling a gun, attacking and trying to run away from officers responding to a shoplifting call at a Walmart, according to an account from Chester Police Chief Eric Williams.

But the family’s lawsuit disputes that account and says McCree was handcuffed with his hands behind his back when he was shot by three officers. The department has said just two officers were involved. The officers weren’t named in the lawsuit and haven’t been identified by police, the newspaper said.

According to a version of events in the lawsuit, a clerk placed the merchandise in McCree’s bag without charging him for it and when he returned to the store to pay, he was confronted, detained and searched by law enforcement. McCree ran out of the store because he was “fearing for his life,” the lawsuit stated.

The State Law Enforcement Division is still investigating the case and hasn’t released any additional information, agency spokesman Tommy Crosby said. The agency declined to release video of the confrontation after The Herald filed a request in December.

Chester officials have 30 days to respond in court. Williams could not be reached by the newspaper for comment.

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