NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Another lawsuit could be brewing against the Metro Nashville Police Department after a man was shot and killed during a confrontation with officers in Antioch.
The family of 30-year-old Joshua Kersey has hired two attorneys, who said they plan to review “all available options and expect legal action to be forthcoming.” The announcement comes amid a number of lawsuits filed recently claiming officers in Mt. Juliet and Nashville unnecessarily used deadly force in separate incidents.
Kersey was shot and killed by Metro Police Officer Cole Ranseen earlier this month after he reportedly held a housemate hostage at knifepoint inside a home on Spilt Oak Trail.
Officers responded to the home after receiving a 911 call from Kersey’s sister, who said her brother had stolen her keys and driven away while intoxicated. During the call, Kersey’s sister could also be heard telling dispatchers he had “severe mental issues.”
Metro police said they had negotiations en route, but the department’s Crisis Intervention Team, which was established to respond to mental health crises, was reportedly at another scene and unable to respond.
The responding officers said they tried to negotiate with Kersey through a closed bedroom door for about 40 minutes before they heard a struggle between him and the alleged hostage, breached the door, and shot him.
At one point before the shooting, Kersey could be heard threatening to harm his housemate if police opened the door.
His family’s attorneys claim body camera footage released after the incident “makes it absolutely clear that Officer Ranseen had no intention of arresting Joshua Kersey.” Specifically, they point to a part of the body camera video where the officer says, “If I have a shot, I’m taking it.”
The footage also showed that Kersey was lying on the floor when he was shot.
Amid the other pending lawsuits against the police department is one filed by the widow of 54-year-old Mark Capps, a Grammy-award-winning sound engineer who was killed in an officer-involved shooting in Hermitage earlier this year.
In that suit, attorneys claim law enforcement officers, who were trying to serve warrants after Capps reportedly held his family at gunpoint, were responsible for his “unnecessary death” and that he did not pose an imminent harm to officers.
Another civil lawsuit was recently filed against the Mt. Juliet Police Department after 39-year-old Eric Allen was shot and killed by an officer during a traffic stop last November.