OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – After a two year battle, a new ruling has been made in a case KFOR has been following since 2019. An appeal court has made a decision Friday regarding the shooting death of a black teenager by Edmond Police. The appeals court ruling could end a federal lawsuit which was filed by the parents.
According to court documents, a three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver backed an Edmond police officer who shot and killed Isaiah Lewis. The court ruled in favor of the officer saying he is “entitled to qualified immunity.” That means the officer did not violate Isaiah Lewis’s rights.
Lewis was shot and killed after police say he was acting erratically, running naked and unarmed through the street, hopping over fences, and breaking into a house.
Officers said they tased Lewis and then shot him after a fight broke out between Lewis and responding officers. They say Lewis was attacking them.
Court documents showed Officer Denton Scherman shot Lewis four times and a fifth shot was missed. Lewis died as a result of his wounds.
On April 28, 2019, officials with the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office said that Isaiah Lewis’ girlfriend and family members noted that he was not acting like himself.
The family has not commented yet on the ruling but, in an interview with the family shortly after his death, Lewis’s mother said it was uncalled for.
“He was not armed; he didn’t deserve to die the want that he did. He didn’t deserve to die period… They don’t get to assassinate my son’s character,” said Vicki Lewis, Isaiah Lewis’s mother.
Back in 2019, Edmond Police said they were forced to shoot.
“Both officers were violently assaulted in this confrontation inside the house… After the fact at the scene, it was seen they both were visibly injured,” said Jenny Wagnon, Edmond Police Department.
Ultimately, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater determined that the officers’ actions were justified in shooting Lewis.
Lewis’ family filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of Edmond and its officers.
The lawsuit alleged that the officers violated Lewis’ civil rights by killing him. But now after Friday’s ruling, it could mean an end to the federal lawsuit.
If Lewis’s parents’ attorneys decide to ask the full appeals court to reconsider the ruling, and they do, a new judgement can be issued.
According to the toxicology report, Lewis had diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in his system when he died.