A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in Maryland by the family of a man who was allegedly pepper-sprayed, beat and then shot by a Prince George’s County police officer while he was unarmed and not resisting arrest.
The Maryland police shooting lawsuit stems from an occurrence at an apartment complex where Corporal Steven Jackson was working off-duty as a security guard. On August 16, 2008, Cpl. Jackson shot and killed Manuel de Jesus Espina in front of his 26 year-old son, according to the complaint filed in the Circuit Court of Prince George’s County in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
The Washington Post reports that criminal charges against Cpl. Jackson are being considered by a grand jury given evidence by Prince George’s County prosecutors.
The family claims that Jackson chased Espina and dragged him into an apartment after spotting him drinking a beer outside at the complex. The lawsuit alleges that Jackson proceeded to beat Espina with fists and a police baton, eventually shooting Espina with a single bullet as his son begged on his knees for Jackson not to kill his father.
In the aftermath of the incident, Prince George’s County police released multiple versions of the story. In the first version, police said Espina had reached for Jackson’s gun. Later, another version said that the Espina attempted to pull Jackson into the apartment. In yet a third version of the story, the department indicated that Jackson feared for his life when Espina reached for his baton.
Jackson is also under investigation for assaulting a motorist and then claiming the motorist attacked him first, the Washington Post reports. Police video, however, showed Jackson attacking the motorist but did not show the motorist attacking Jackson.