ST. LOUIS (AP) — A suspected shoplifter who was shot and wounded by a suburban St. Louis police officer is suing the officer and the police chief.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Ashley Hall filed suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court in St. Louis. It alleges that Ladue officer Julia Crews used unjustified and excessive force when she was shot on April 23 at a Schnucks grocery story.
The lawsuit also says that Hall was assaulted and held down by store employees after a disturbance in the store led to an altercation in the parking lot.
Crews arrived and summoned an ambulance for Hall. The lawsuit states that Crews tried to handcuff Hall despite saying she was not under arrest.
Hall ran. The suit says she fled because of a “fear for her well-being given the history of unarmed black individuals being shot by white officers” and Ladue's history of racial profiling.
The lawsuit says that Crews shouted, “She's running away,” then fired a single shot without warning that struck Hall in the back. Hall suffered injuries to her liver, spleen, diaphragm, lungs, ribs and kidney and was in cardiac arrest for two minutes in the hospital, the lawsuit states.
Crews' lawyer, Travis Noble, has said the officer intended to use her stun gun but pulled out our service revolver by mistake.
Crews resigned days later. She has been charged with second-degree assault.
Police have said the incident began when Hall and another woman pushed a grocery cart of stolen steaks and seafood out of the store without paying. They also accused Hall of striking a worker in the face.