Police in Harvey, Ill., shot a man in the back of the leg without cause, threatened to "shoot the shit out of" a witness with a camera, then shot to death a witness's puppy, the wounded man and dog owner claim in federal lawsuits.
Paul Manning sued the City of Harvey, its police Officer James Sinnot, and Officer O'Shea.
In the second lawsuit, Karnischa Miller, who owned the 14-week-old puppy, sued the City of Harvey, Sinnot, and Officer Davres.
Harvey, pop. 30,000, a far south suburb of Chicago, is 90 percent black and Latino.
Manning claims he was walking down the street on Dec. 30, 2012, when the officers began following him in a squad car.
"Defendant officer stopped his car and told Mr. Manning, 'Come here!'," the complaint states.
"Mr. Manning had done nothing wrong, and, therefore, did not stop.
"Mr. Manning had no weapon or other objects in his hands.
"After a short distance of moving away from the defendant officer, Mr. Manning slipped and fell.
"As Mr. Manning tried to get up, one of the defendant officers willfully shot Mr. Manning in the back of his leg.
"Mr. Manning fell again and tried to get up again.
"Defendant officer then fired more shots at Mr. Manning
"Mr. Manning suffered excruciating pain from these gunshot wounds.
"One of the defendant officers then stood on top of Mr. Manning with the full force of his leg on Mr. Manning's back.
"One of the defendant officers handcuffed Mr. Manning while he was lying down after having been shot."
A witness tried to record the scene with his cell phone, but a Harvey officer grabbed the phone and threw it, saying
"You touch the phone, I will shoot the shit out of you,"
Manning says in the complaint.
In the second lawsuit, Miller claims she heard gunshots, "opened the back door and witnessed a young man, Paul Manning, lying on the ground after having been shot. He was screaming and asking for an ambulance.
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"Harvey police officers were surrounding Paul Manning with their guns drawn.
"Upon information and belief, one officer was standing on Paul's back, simply as an excessive display of force."
When Miller opened the door, her 14-week-old puppy, Nemo, ran outside.
A police officer yelled to Miller's boyfriend, LeShon Wright, "'Get your dog!'," the complaint states.
"As Mr. Wright walked off the porch toward the dog, one of the defendant officers unholstered and raised his gun towards Nemo and Mr. Wright.
"Mr. Wright became fearful for his life and stopped.
"Nemo approached one of the defendant officers and sniffed his ankle.
"Nemo did not growl, bark, or act aggressively in any way.
"A defendant officer then shot Nemo."
The officers would not let anyone approach the wounded dog from 4:30 p.m. until 11:15 p.m., according to the lawsuit.
"A defendant officer said:
'Yeah, I shot the dog. What the fuck you gonna do about it?'"
"The City of Harvey admitted that their police officers shot Nemo.
"Ms. Miller and her children were so distraught by the circumstances surrounding Nemo's murder, and being forced to helplessly watch him die, that they moved from Harvey to Wisconsin," Miller says.
Manning seeks punitive damages for excessive force, battery, and emotional distress. Miller seeks punitive damages for excessive force, illegal seizure, failure to intervene, and emotional distress.
Both are represented by Victor Henderson and Rebecca Kaiser with Henderson Adam. The median income and home value in Harvey are about half the statewide median.