Nearly a year after being shot in his home by officers from the Ashtabula Police Department, Brendan Hester is filing a lawsuit against the city and the police.
The announcement came at a press conference on Monday afternoon.
The lawsuit claims that Ashtabula police officers Daniel Gillespie and Spencer Gale violated Hester's 4th Amendment rights through the use of force. It also cites the city of Ashtabula for its failure to train and supervise its officers.
The 23-year-old Hester was shot in the early morning hours of June 2, 2017, after a 911 call came in from Hester’s brother’s girlfriend, who reported an armed intruder inside the W. 38th Street home. Hester lived in the house with his brother, his brother’s girlfriend, and their daughter.
Hester's family claimed that he was holding an intruder at gunpoint and waiting for officers to arrive. When police got to the scene, they immediately opened the door and began shooting.
Ashtabula police said at the time that when they arrived at the house, they heard a scuffle inside. When they entered the home, they ordered Hester to drop or lower the gun he was holding. He did not comply and an officer fired his weapon, according to police. Hester said Monday he has no memory of ever seeing the officers enter the house.
Hester's attorney, Terry Gilbert told the Ashtabula Star Beacon last June that "the family demands a thorough, unbiased, and transparent investigation by the Ashtabula Police Department, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and the Ashtabula County Prosecutor’s Office into the events surrounding this shooting."
A grand jury declined to file charges after the BCI investigation.
Hester was struck twice by bullets and is paralyzed. Speaking from his wheelchair on Monday, Hester described how he had adjusted. "I can't walk no more. It's been hard. Everything has been changed. It's been a long process." he explained. "I need help for just about everything. I can eat and drink by myself, but everything else I need help with."
You can read the text of Hester's complaint below: