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Family of Man Killed by Brooklyn Center Police Files Lawsuit

Updated: 01/09/2014 7:39 AM
Created: 01/08/2014 8:15 PM KSTP.com
By: Stephen Tellier

A mother claims her son was shot and killed by Brooklyn Center police while he was in handcuffs. The officers say they pulled the trigger because the man was attacking them.

Now, the case is headed to a federal courtroom after the man's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against one of the officers.

Edmond Fair, 24, was a wanted man when he was shot and killed by Brooklyn Center police during a traffic stop in August 2013. The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office investigated the incident, and a couple weeks ago, a grand jury decided not to file charges against the officer who pulled the trigger.

But on Tuesday, Fair's family took legal action, claiming Officer Ryan Soliday used excessive force when he shot their loved one.

"Every morning, he would come over to my house and ring my doorbell and give me this big, wide hug," Elizabeth Fair, Edmond's mother, said. It's been 138 days since Elizabeth Fair got one of those hugs from her son.

"I miss his smile, his energy, the love that he projected," Elizabeth Fair said.

The 24-year-old was shot and killed by police on Aug 23.

"It's been extremely difficult. You never get over it. You just try to learn to live with it," Elizabeth Fair said.

It began as an early morning traffic stop, and ended with Edmond Fair's death.

What happened in between is deeply disputed.

Paul Rogosheske, an attorney for Ofc. Soliday, said Fair was wanted, facing at least six-and-a-half years in prison for kidnapping. He said Fair tried to fight off two officers, and that during the struggle, Fair stole one officer's Taser, and tried to steal one of their guns.

Rogosheske called it a "life or death" situation, saying, "The officers acted within their authority, and used force that was necessary in this case."

But Fair's mother said she believes her son never resisted arrest, and wasn't doing anything wrong.

"I've been told that he was handcuffed when they shot him," Elizabeth Fair said.

The lawsuit filed on her behalf calls the incident an, "... unwarranted and overzealous display of force."

"All I know is, they took away -- they killed my son," Elizabeth Fair said.

And she said she will not rest until she finds out why.

"I know that Edmond was a good person, and that's it -- even if he wasn't a good person, he still deserves justice. He still has the right to live like you and I," Elizabeth Fair said.

Rogosheske said there is dash cam video of what happened, which the family hasn't seen. He said that will come out in court.

But the family's attorney said there were four other men who were in Fair's car and witnessed the incident. He said not one of them was called to testify before the grand jury that decided charges weren't warranted.

Edmond Fair Lawsuit


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