Binghamton, NY - The family of justifiably dead cop-killer James Clark have sued the cities of Binghamton and Johnson City and several officers after Clark murdered a police officer. They said that the police officers who were involved in the incident did not follow protocol, leading to their son's death.
According to Press & Sun-Bulletin, the incident occurred on the morning of March 31, 2014 in the parking lot of Southern Tier Imaging in Johnson City. Clark arrived to work there around 7:00 AM and was rambling about magnets and terrorists.
James Clark called the police and told them that if someone brought a bomb into the country and attached it to one of the MRI magnets, people would die.
Officers responded to the scene. Upon arrival, Johnson City Police Officer David Smith was met by Clark running toward him. Clark then punched Officer Smith in the face, took his gun, and murdered him by shooting him twice in the head.
James Clark then jumped on the back of a second Johnson City Police Officer, Louis Coici, attempting to grab his weapon. He was able to get his finger in the trigger guard and fired a shot, which went into a nearby church parking lot. Officer Coici was able to get to his weapon and shot and killed Clark.
Two witnesses who were present during the incident said that Clark started assaulting Officer Smith while he was still inside the car.
Depending on who you ask, this is either the world's most clear-cut case of a justified police shooting, or an officer killing an "unarmed" man.
In one of its claims, the lawsuit states that "Clark should have been contained at the scene and before he had an opportunity to run at Officer Smith's car." How exactly? We don't know.
The lawsuit also claims that police officers prevented Clark from being medically treated at the scene, and that he was, "laying on cold wet snow in the street and unable to offer resistance and otherwise totally harmless."
The police reports, which were obtained by local media, give the correct version. Clark continued to resist and struggle while Officer Cioci and a civilian attempted to handcuff him. The Johnson City Police report said that "(Clark) was still fighting, eyes open and ranting the entire time."
The Clarks' lawsuit also claims that police redacted information about witnesses' interviews, didn't interview all witnesses at the scene and didn't have an outside agency review the incident. A response from the defendants is expected by mid-April.
The lawsuit mentions redacted information from the reports about witnesses. A witness' physical address, license number, social security number, and other financially important information are protected information and usually not released, unless it's to a criminal attorney.
Officer Smith, an 18-year veteran of the police department. He left behind a wife and a child.
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