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Christopher Clayton Rice files federal lawsuit against officer


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Police aren’t equipped to handle mentally healthy citizens without getting trigger-happy and are even less equipped to handle those with special needs who may be experiencing behavioral issues stemming from a disability. Politicians and activists have talked about this time and time again and this story serves as another sad example of this widely ignored truth.

According to a report by WTKR, a 34-year-old man named Christopher Clayton Rice has filed a $20 million federal lawsuit against the city of Hampton, Virginia, and Officer Bryan Wilson who shot him 3 times in the chest, arm, and thigh while he was in the throes of a mental health crisis. On Jan. 22, 2022, employees at Wynne Ford car dealership called 911 to report that Rice, who had visited earlier in the week to inquire about a vehicle, was walking around the building with a baseball bat. When a female officer attempted to get Rice to disarm himself of the bat, a struggle ensued and she was hit in the head with the bat.

Officer Bryan Wilson radioed that he believed that Rice was suffering from mental issues but no mental health professional was called to help de-escalate the tense situation. However, Wilson was the only officer on the scene to draw his service pistol after his female colleague was struck as the other officers on the scene pulled their tasers with hopes of incapacitating Rice without the use of deadly force.

Wilson ultimately fired the three rounds that struck Rice and ended the “standoff”. Rice’s attorneys say that he suffers from diagnosed paranoid schizophrenia and it was obvious to all those present that he was not of sound mind in the moment.

“The simple fact is that Clayton Rice was having a mental health crisis. Everyone could see it,” one of his attorneys, Bakari Sellers, said. “Even Officer Wilson commented on it. But they didn’t send a doctor or medical professionals. They sent law enforcement with their weapons drawn. That’s not only irresponsible. It’s a recipe for disaster and Clayton Rice is lucky to be alive.”

Rice’s lawsuit accuses Wilson of violating the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments in addition to gross negligence on the part of the city. We’ll be surprised if he doesn’t get at least half of the $20 million in a settlement.

BOSSIP will have more information as it becomes available.




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