Lawsuit: Black man fatally shot by DC police posed no threat

Posted at 10:32 PM, Dec 15, 2016

Relatives of an unarmed black motorcyclist who was fatally shot by a District of Columbia police officer have filed a $50 million lawsuit against the officer and the department.

The wrongful-death lawsuit alleges 31-year-old Terrence Sterling posed no threat to the officer who shot him. The complaint says Officer Brian Trainer fatally shot Sterling in the back and neck from the passenger seat of his police car.

Police have said Sterling intentionally rammed the police car with his motorcycle while trying to flee a traffic stop. The complaint says Sterling merely sideswiped the car "with minimal force" after the officers tried to box him in.

The lawsuit also faults Trainer for failing to activate his body-worn camera, which city officials have acknowledged. It was filed Thursday in D.C. Superior Court.