(ReliableNews.org) – In January, the Metro Nashville Police Department descended on the residence of Mark Capps, a notable four-time Grammy-winning sound engineer, after his family reported that he was in need of help. Things didn’t pan out the way they planned, however, and one of the officers, Ashley Coon, ended up shooting and killing the man. Now, his wife has filed a lawsuit against the city of Nashville and the officer involved in the shooting.
On Monday, October 30, Tara Capps, Mark Capps’ wife, filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the department, and specifically Coon, engaged in “excessive, unreasonable force by shooting and killing” her husband when he failed to pose “an active threat of imminent harm.” She also pointed out that the city allowed its officers to create a “culture of fear, violence, and impunity.”
The incident began when Mark Capps, after a night of drinking, allegedly held his wife and adult daughter hostage with two guns in the family’s living room. The daughter’s boyfriend was also in the room at the time. While they were able to talk Capps down, he continued to berate his wife for hours after. Later that day, the wife and daughter went to the police department and notified them of the situation.
Police agreed that they would go to the residence and take Capps into custody. The lawsuit claims that the interviewing officer, Patrick Lancaster, secured warrants and the department pulled together a 13-person SWAT team to carry out the directive. While placing charges around the home, Capps reportedly opened the door. Officers on-scene say he had a gun in his hand and his finger on the trigger. His wife, in the lawsuit, claims that the bodycam footage doesn’t match their testimony. It directs Capps to show his hands, something that they wouldn’t need to shout if they were already on a gun, ready to shoot.
Capps’ wife has requested a trial by jury, where the jury will determine the amount of damages.
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