Family of Norfolk man shot by police files $12 million wrongful lawsuit


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – The family of a Norfolk man who shot and killed a police K9 has filed a multi-million dollar wrongful lawsuit against the city after he was shot to death by police.

Two years ago, a Norfolk police officer shot and killed Keith Richardson when he allegedly refused to drop his gun. That officer was cleared of wrongdoing.

But now Richardson’s daughter has filed a lawsuit claiming it was revenge for her father shooting the police K-9 on scene.

The lawsuit filed in a Chesapeake court paints a very different picture from what Norfolk police said happened that night on Land Street.

On January 10, Norfolk police responded to a domestic dispute at Richardson’s home. The argument between Richardson and his wife got out of control. As she left the home — a standoff with police began then lasted for several hours.

The police description of the events said that after long hours of a tense situation, Richardson came out of the house.

Officers sent a police K9 to subdue him and Richardson shot the dog. After that, police said he turned his gun towards officers and that forced officers to fire the shots that killed him.

But, the lawsuit filed by Richardson’s daughter wrote a different tale.

On that night, the lawsuit claims a Norfolk officer shot Richardson before two police dogs attacked him.

Then Richardson shot the police K9 in self-defense.

Attorneys claim that eight officers surrounded Richardson as he lay on the ground wounded.  Then as retaliation, an unknown officer shot him “execution style.”

That lawsuit claims video from a neighbor supports this claim. It also said that an autopsy report shows two shots came at close range.

As a result, the attorneys ask for more than $12 million in damages from the city of Norfolk.

The response from Norfolk’s City Attorney:

“The night of Mr. Richardson’s shooting, the environment including, but not limited to Mr. Richardson earlier that night firing his weapon multiple times at a police robot, repeatedly failing to comply with police commands, and then later that night shooting his gun three times at a police K9 and then immediately pointing it at officers, created an imminent threat causing an officer to justifiably believe he had to shoot Mr. Richardson.”

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