St. Louis police shot a sleeping 63-year-old man 9 times and killed him in no-knock raid, lawsuit alleges
- The family of a man fatally shot by
policehas sued the St. LouisMetropolitan Police Department.
- The lawsuit alleges officers burst into Don Clark Sr.'s home and opened fire in an unlawful no-knock raid.
- Police previously said the 2017 shooting was justified.
The family of a 63-year-old man fatally shot by St. Louis police in 2017 has sued the department, alleging that officers unlawfully obtained a "no knock" search warrant and burst into the man's home while he slept.
Don Clark Sr. was killed February 21, 2017, in St. Louis,
The lawsuit also alleged that a team of 17 SWAT officers rammed their way into Clark's home without warning, and with their weapons drawn, as he slept in the front room. The officers then threw a flash bang, and fired at least 9 shots into Clark's body, "nearly ripping his forearm from his elbow joint," according to the lawsuit.
"At no point did the intruders identify themselves as police," the lawsuit alleged. "At no point did the intruders give instructions, such as to put his hands up. Instead, after banging the door down, the unknown intruders lobbed a diversionary device into his house."
The lawsuit said Clark, who was unarmed, "fell face down on the floor beside his bed" after being shot, and claimed none of the officers called for help or attempted to stop the bleeding.
"Mr. Clark tried to speak, but all that came out was an unintelligible mumble," the lawsuit said.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department declined to comment on the allegations in the Clark family's lawsuit, citing the pending litigation.
But the former police commissioner previously told media that Clark's shooting was justified. Sam Dotson said at the time that officers had indeed announced their presence at Clark's home, but used a battering ram when no one answered the door.
Dotson had said that Clark fired one shot, prompting the officers to release a flash bang. Then, Clark fired a second shot, and one officer fired a single shot back, Dotson said at the time.
Clark's family denied in the lawsuit that Clark ever sold or harbored illegal drugs and illegal firearms in his home. They alleged that the officer who obtained the search warrant either lied about having confidential informants, or lied about verifying the information they provided.
The lawsuit said far from being a drug dealer, Clark was a veteran who suffered from diabetes, poor eyesight, poor hearing, and swollen limbs that required him to use a cane to walk.
Clark's attorney didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Botched police raids have attracted increased scrutiny across the country since Louisville, Kentucky police shot and killed
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