A federal lawsuit was filed Monday against the City of Mobile and two police officers in connection to the death of Jawan Dallas.
The lawsuit was filed by Christine Dallas, Jawan Dallas' mother, on behalf of his estate.
Jawan Dallas died after an encounter with police on July 2 after being detained in response to a 911 call about a break-in at a trailer home.
The six-count lawsuit accuses the city of wrongful death, assault/battery, unconstitutional policy, retaliation, unlawful seizure and unlawful use of force.
"On July 2, 2023, Jawan Lee Mcgee Dallas, a 36-year-old black man, was stuck multiple times, excessively tased and drive-stun by two members of the Mobile, Alabama Police Department," the lawsuit states. "At the time Jawan was accosted, beating [sic] and excessively tased and drive-stun by two members of the Mobile, Alabama Police Department, he was under no suspicion of committing any criminal activity. As a result of his encounter with law enforcement, Jawan was died [sic[. Jawan was innocent."
New information in the lawsuit claims Police Chief Paul Prine "provided a false narrative to the public" about what happened.
Prine said during a press conference that Dallas matched the description of the burglary suspect and that he was in the location where the 911 caller said the suspect was. The lawsuit claims those two claims were not true.
Prine and the lawsuit have stated that two people were being questioned, and out of those two, Dallas was the one who refused to provide identification to police. Both parties also agree that Dallas attempted to flee the scene.
Dallas was detained, at which time Prine said he attempted to take a Taser from officers. The lawsuit did not address this claim.
After being detained, Dallas told police he was having difficulty breathing due to asthma, Prine explained. EMS was called out to render aid. Dallas was taken to the hospital, where he died.
The lawsuit claims police policy allowing officers to ask for the ID of someone not suspected of a crime is unconstitutional.
At the time of the incident, Dallas had two warrants and was in possession of drugs, police said.
The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages, exemplary or punitive damages, the cost of the lawsuit, attorneys fees and asks for a trial by jury.
The two police officers involved in the arrest were cleared of criminal wrongdoing by the grand jury. Mobile County District Attorney Keith Blackwood said Dallas suffered from underlying medical conditions that were exacerbated by drug use. Blackwood added that multiple drugs were detected in Dallas' system at the time of his death.
The entire lawsuit can be read below, although an amended version will likely be filed soon due to a typo on page 15, where attorneys forgot to replace a former client's name with Dallas' name.
To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email [email protected].
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.