ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -
The mother and brother of a man who was shot and killed by three Anchorage police officers in 2019 have filed a civil lawsuit this week that asks for $20 million from the municipality, the involved officers and other municipal employees.
Bishar Hassan, 31, was shot and killed on April 1, 2019, by officers Nathan Lewis, Matthew Hall and Brett Eggiman, the Anchorage Daily News reported Friday.
None of the officers wore body cameras, but the police vehicles were equipped with dash cameras that captured footage of what happened in front of their vehicles.
An investigation into the shooting by the assistant attorney general for the Office of Special Prosecutions, John Darnall, determined that none of the officers involved would face criminal charges in Hassan’s death.
Rex Lamont Butler, the attorney representing Hassan’s family, said the video footage provides compelling evidence for their case.
“I think some people will look and see what they want to see,” Butler said. “But if you take the time to analyze it, it shows a situation without any process whatsoever. This young man is gunned down in the streets.”
On that day, police responded to reports of a man waving what looked like a black handgun. The man got on a bus and shortly afterward, Hall saw Hassan walking and noted that he matched the description of the armed man, Darnall said in the Office of Special Prosecutions report.
Hall drove his patrol vehicle onto the sidewalk and Lewis and Eggiman parked alongside him.
Police claim Hassan began approaching the officers. The investigative report said Hassan “reached into his right pants waistband and began pulling up (what) appeared to be a handgun.”
Police Chief Justin Doll told reporters after the shooting that Hassan pointed a gun at officers and all three fired at him.
The lawsuit filed by Hassan’s family Wednesday disputes the police narrative.
They said Hassan began to walk toward the patrol vehicle but stopped when Hall stepped out of his vehicle and put his hand on his firearm, said the civil complaint.
Hassan told the officer that he had a toy gun and spoke loudly enough that “Hall heard or should have heard” him speaking, the complaint said.
“(Hassan) did not point the toy gun at any of the officers before he was shot,” the complaint said.
Police identified the false handgun as a Daisy Powerline 340 BB Repeater Pistol.
“Hall, Lewis and Eggiman continued shooting (Hassan) even after it was obvious or after it should have been obvious to them that (Hassan) had dropped the fake gun and fallen to the ground,” the complaint said.
Hassan’s family said the police‘s use of force was excessive. The officers attempted to administer aid to Hassan, but he later died from the gunshot wounds.
The Anchorage Police Department declined to comment about the allegations made in the civil complaint and a representative for the municipality did not respond to a request for comment by the Anchorage Daily News.
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