SPOKANE -- The family of a man shot and killed by two Spokane police officers has filed a complaint for damages in federal court.
Court documents allege that Officers Kellee Gately and Jason Curtis used excessive force and deprived Jason Poss of his civil rights when they shot him in 2009.
Court documents show Poss was under the influence of drugs at the time of the confrontation and armed with a knife and skateboard. Police say Poss kicked in the door of a woman's home, beat her with a skateboard, then stabbed her dog.
Attorneys for the Poss family allege Gately and Curtis shot him while he was already on the ground. They say shooting Poss while he was lying down would constitute excessive force.
"We know he wasn't standing up because it went from the top of his body straight down his spine so that's inconsistent with him standing up," said Poss family attorney Breean Beggs. “Even if the first shot was acceptable, the next three from when he's already on the ground --and especially the one that killed him --was not acceptable.”
Gately and Curtis said Poss threatened them with the weapon. Investigators cleared the officers of criminal wrongdoing.
An autopsy conducted on Poss revealed he had cocaine, marijuana and hydrocodone in his system. He was shot four times.
Beggs said the City of Spokane and the Spokane Police Department failed to answer their questions in the three years following the shooting. The civil suit asks for an undetermined amount in damages.
A spokesperson for the City of Spokane said it is still reviewing the complaint.