Family seeks $2.1 M in fatal police shooting - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Family seeks $2.1 M in fatal police shooting

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NEILLSVILLE (WAOW) – The family of a 23-year-old Neillsville man fatally shot by police during an early-morning disturbance on the man's front porch is seeking $2.1 million from Neillsville and its police department.

In a claim filed Friday, the estate of Ricky Taylor alleges the city was negligent in training its police to respond to a person experiencing an emotional crisis and was intoxicated and in providing “de-escalation techniques needed to defuse such a situation.”

The claim alleges Officer Aaron Bembnister, 24, used excessive force against Taylor in a confrontation Dec. 13. Police say Taylor threatened the officer with a knife.

The city of Neillsville was deliberately indifferent to the rights of its citizens when it failed to sufficiently train its officers to handle such a person in any way other than through the application of deadly force,” the claim says.

Besides costs for medical and funeral expenses, the claim seeks $2 million for violations of Taylor's federal constitutional rights.

The city has 180 days to respond to the claim.

City Attorney Bonnie Wachsmuth did not immediately return a telephone message Monday.

Clark County District Attorney Lyndsey Boon Brunette ruled in March that Bembniser acted properly in fatally shooting Taylor and was justified in using deadly force.

Bembnister responded to a disturbance at a home in Neillsville about 2:30 a.m. after a friend of Taylor's mother reported to police that Taylor was drunk and threw a knife at him, Brunette said in a seven-page report.

When Taylor ignored requests to put down the knife and Bembnister had retreated as far as he could on a porch, the officer fired three or four shots, Boon Brunette's report said.

Taylor died at St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield. His blood-alcohol level was 0.198 percent, more than double the legal limit to drive, the prosecutor's report said.

Bembnister became certified as a law enforcement officer in 2011 and joined the Neillsville Police Department in May 2012, the report said.



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