Lawsuit seeks $30 million from Dothan police shooting

A Dothan police officer was shot while on-duty April 20, 2021.
A Dothan police officer was shot while on-duty April 20, 2021.(Source: WTVY)
Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 9:55 AM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - A $30 million lawsuit against the city of Dothan alleges officers used excessive force when they killed Duward Baker, who police shot two years ago. Next-of-kin Curlene Hodge filed the suit in federal court last week.

Hodge alleges that officers shot Baker multiple times about eight to 10 blocks from where one of them had pulled him over during a traffic stop in April 2021.

The lawsuit states that the officer claims he saw a gun in Baker’s car and followed him after the stop for a few blocks before a “calvary” of police officers formed a barricade where one or more officers shot Baker.

Police have another side to that story.

The day of the shooting Dothan Police Chief Will Benny told News4 that Baker fired at officers after fleeing the stop, wounding one officer and giving others no reasonable choice but to shoot back.

Hodge’s lawsuit claims those officers used excessive force, and supervisors had not adequately trained them to handle such matters.

An independent investigation and review by the Houston County District Attorney Office revealed determined Baker’s shooting was justified.

She filed the lawsuit pro se.

Following the shooting, officials listed the deceased as Doward Baker, not Duward Baker as is reflected in the lawsuit.

The officer wounded by Baker recovered.

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