The family of Donald E. Coates Jr., a 20-year-old Glen Burnie man who was unarmed and naked when he was killed by rookie Anne Arundel Police Officer Timothy Pleasant, is suing Anne Arundel for $10 million.
In the Maryland wrongful death lawsuit filed in Circuit Court, Pleasant is accused of acting with malice and behaving unreasonably on the night of May 24, 2005. The suit contends that no other police officer would have shot Burnie, who was fleeing, from behind.
Coates was delusional and on drugs when the shooting happened. According to Anne Arundel County police union president Officer O’Brien Atkinson, Pleasant “did exactly what he was trained to do under the circumstances” and that his only option was to use “deadly force.”
On the night of his death, Coates contacted 911 from his home and said that someone was trying to kill him. He then reportedly locked himself in the bathroom after ordering everyone in the house to leave at gunpoint.
Coates then jumped out of the bathroom window and hid behind the utility box. Pleasant spotted Coates and asked him to come out. Coates ran at him and Pleasant fired his gun four times. Coates died as a result of the shooting.
Coates’s family has filed the wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of his two young children. The family claims they sustained mental trauma and pain and suffering because of the shooting death. They are demanding recovery for funeral costs, gross negligence, excessive force, and seizures.
Please contact our Maryland personal injury law firm if another party seriously injured you or someone you love because of their negligent or careless actions.
Police brutality is the use of excessive and unreasonable force by law enforcement personnel, including county police officers, state police, and federal agents. Beating, shooting a suspect without justification, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, and other violent actions are unjustifiable and against the law.
Police killing of naked man leads to $10 million lawsuit, BaltimoreSun.com, June 29, 2008
Related Web Resource:
Police Brutality in the US, HRW.org
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