Family of Hasani Best, killed by police, sue Jersey Shore city for $25M
'Ultimately, it will be up to a jury to decide how much the damages are.'
Hasani Best was fatally shot by an Asbury Park Police officer after a neighbor called 911 over a domestic violence incident at his home. Now his family have filed preliminary paperwork for a $25 million lawsuit against the small beach city they claim is responsible for his death.
The city of Asbury Park, located on the Jersey Shore and part of the New York City Metropolitan Area, was served a notice of tort claim on Nov. 12, setting the framework that a lawsuit is on the horizon, MSN reports.
The shooting occured while police were responding to a call about a domestic dispute between Best, 39, and his then-girlfriend, Asbury Park Press reports. Bodycam footage shows Best was standing in his bedroom doorway during a standoff with the police. Armed with a knife, he refused to comply with commands to drop his weapon, but sources close to him say he was having a meltdown, which officers failed to consider.
Best was shot by Sgt. Sean DeShader, with whom he had prior encounters.
“We’ve dealt with you too many times, just drop the knife,” DeShader said, the Daily Mail reports. “Drop the knife, come out and we settle this.”
Before the shooting, Best and DeShader joked about the officer’s hair, with DeShader agreeing to cut his hair if Best dropped his weapon and surrender. But a sudden jerking motion from Best caused DeShader to shoot him. He was transferred to the Jersey Shore University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Best leaves behind 20-year-old son Dayvon White and one year daughter Jena Best.
“We have filed on the behalf of the family of Hasani Best the notice of tort claim, demanding damages of $25 million for his wrongful death and shooting by the hands of the Asbury Park Police Department,” Scott Ryecki of Rubenstein & Rynecki, well-known injury attorneys based in Brooklyn, New York, told theGrio.
According to the report, none of the officers read Best his Miranda Rights.
The city has yet to respond to the tort claim.
“Ultimately, it will be up to a jury to decide how much the damages are, but this is what we put in there based on the civil rights violations and the lost to the family and his death,” Rynecki said.
The law firm said the family wants DeShader to be fired and prosecuted.
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