Federal lawsuit filed in Alex City officer-involved shooting - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Federal lawsuit filed in Alex City officer-involved shooting

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

It's been two months since an Alexander City police officer shot and killed a man outside a Huddle House. Thursday attorneys for the man's family filed a civil lawsuit in federal court.

They are seeking monetary compensation in the death of 21-year-old Emerson Crayton Jr.

Crayton was shot on March 8. Police say an officer was flagged down after an incident involving Crayton at the Alex City Huddle House.

Following the shooting, police issued a statement saying the officer fired his gun because he couldn't get out of the way of Crayton's vehicle.

The family and attorneys however say that the shooting was unnecessary and the officer should have never been called.

The defendants listed are Alexander City, the police officer, Huddle House incorporated, the owners of Huddle House in Alex City and the manager of Huddle House on duty that night.

The lawsuit states Crayton's rights were violated, claiming cruel and unusual punishment, wrongful death and discrimination.

While holding up the lawsuit, Julian McPhillips, attorney for the family, said, "this is just a sheet of paper and there's so much more that went into all of this then what's in this paper. Hearts have been torn and lives have been maimed."

"Emerson Crayton, Junior can't come to court and testify about how he was disrespected, so we are speaking for him," said Eric Hutchins, another attorney for the family.

The Alabama Bureau of Investigations is still investigating the shooting, which is routine. The family is hoping evidence will prove the shooting was unjustified, but no matter the outcome, they are hoping at least this federal lawsuit will send a strong message and help bring some justice for their loved one.

"Just can't never forget it and it's going to be on your conscience the rest of the day you live," said Emerson Crayton Sr. "Hoping we can get some peace and rest, seek justice and see if we can do something about this."

Late Thursday, Huddle House incorporated issued a statement: "We were shocked and saddened to learn of this unfortunate incident at the independently owned and operated Alex City restaurant, and our hearts go out to all of those affected. Because we were not aware of the case until the filing that was served yesterday, we do not yet know the details of any investigation or why we are named a party."

Alex City's mayor and the police department told WSFA 12 News they can't comment due to the ongoing investigation.

The Huddle House manager said the whole truth hasn't been portrayed. She says when able she hopes to have her story told.

The plaintiffs are Crayton's 2-year-old daughter and her mother.

Copyright 2014 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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