Man shot by police sues City of Oklahoma City, police officer

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- A federal lawsuit against an Oklahoma City police officer and the City of Oklahoma City has been filed by a man who was shot in the abdomen by police.

The complaint stems from an early morning traffic stop gone wrong.

21-year-old Dorles Ellis, a convicted felon, was pulled over for speeding in December 2016. He ran from police, eventually ending up in a dark driveway in southwest Oklahoma City. The lawsuit alleges Officer Colton Ellis of the Oklahoma City Police Department shot 21-year-old Dorles Ellis in the abdomen after he ran from a traffic stop. The suspect had been pulled over for speeding but eventually ran into a dark, narrow driveway in a southwest Oklahoma City neighborhood.

The lawsuit claims Ellis and Officer Colton Ellis were merely 13 feet apart when the suspect was "unjustifiably shot" by Officer Colton Ellis, who "did not exercise reasonable police tactics and did not use his police equipment properly." It alleges four total counts: negligence, intentional assault and battery, and two counts of a violation of rights.

NewsChannel 4 spoke with Ellis' attorney, Scott Adams, who says they are demanding a jury trial. According to Adams, his client showed no signs of being armed or that he was a threat.

"Even if he did, he ran from a traffic stop. Big deal, it's a traffic stop," he says. "For them to do this and get to the point where they shoot him when he clearly didn't have a weapon and never had a weapon, there's clearly something amiss here."

When this incident originally occurred, Officer Ellis told investigators he saw Ellis "aggressively reach" for his waistband. This was a fact that District Attorney David Prater said can "neither be proven nor disproven".

NewsChannel 4 reached out to the City of Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma City Police Department on Wednesday. Neither the city nor the police department say they could comment on the pending litigation.

Adams says his client is seeking $75,000 in monetary damages but beyond that, he says there needs to be "departmental change."

"There are body cams, don’t get me wrong. It’s just not widely used like it should be. Hopefully this lawsuit will help spur that along," says Adams.

Dorles Ellis is currently facing charges in two unrelated cases involving drug possession and a weapons charge.

Now that the lawsuit has been filed, the defendants have an opportunity to respond.

Adams says the case could be heard by August 2018.

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