Sister of Wake inmate killed by officer files lawsuit

Sister of Wake inmate killed by officer files lawsuit (Image 1)

The sister of a Wake County man who was killed by a corrections officer inside the Wake County Detention Center is suing the officer who killed him and Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison.

On Dec. 12, 2013, a jury found Markeith Council, 27, guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the June 4, 2013, death of Shon Demetrius McClain.

Council engaged in a fight with McClain, who died from blunt force trauma to the head and neck resulting in spinal and brain damage. McClain died 13 days after the incident.

Council has said he had a conversation with McClain some time before the incident while Council was handing out sheets.

Council said people started urging McClain, 40, to fight during the part the surveillance video shows. Council said he called McClain over.

“I said, ‘Don’t let your friends boost you up, pump you up,'” Council recalled. “I said, ‘This is not the place to be tough.'”

Council said he thought he was going to be punched when McClain raised his hand. He said he didn’t have enough time to call for help.

McClain was in jail on misdemeanor drug charges when the assault occurred. According to the Department of Public Safety, McClain’s convictions include possession of stolen goods, breaking and entering, larceny, indecent liberty with a child, failing to register as a sex offender and obstructing justice.

The lawsuit says Council’s “excessive force” was the reason for McClain’s death. And is said Harrison “knew or should have known” about Council’s use of force “against other detainees prior to Mr. McClain’s death.”

“Sheriff Harrison’s failure to train and supervise his employees … was a direct, proximate and foreseeable cause of the death of Mr. McClain,” the suit claims.

The suit asks that the court allow compensatory and punitive damages in an amount determined by the jury.

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