Pennington County, deputy sued in 2010 fatal shootingSIOUX FALLS (AP) — The family of a 22-year-old American Indian fatally shot by a Pennington County Sheriff's deputy has sued the county and the deputy for civil rights violations.
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — The family of a 22-year-old American Indian fatally shot by a Pennington County Sheriff's deputy has sued the county and the deputy for civil rights violations.
Deputy David Olson shot and killed Christopher Capps in 2010, after responding to a report of a teenager being assaulted. According to media reports, the wrongful death lawsuit says Olson acted with deadly force to a situation that posed no threat to the deputy's life.
Capps' mother and father, Jerry and Jaylene Capps, are asking for an unspecified amount of punitive and compensatory damages.
Attorney General Marty Jackley ruled that the shooting of Capps was justified based on a report from the state Division of Criminal Investigation. The DCI report concluded that Capps was charging at and threatening to kill the deputy, and that Olson believed he saw a knife in Capps' hand.
A piece of driftwood with a sharp point was found near Capps' body, but the lawsuit claims the young man never held it. It also points out that one of the shots landed in Capps' back.
In the lawsuit, Capps' parents contend that Olson fabricated a story about their son being armed with a sharp stick in order to justify the shooting to state investigators.
Olson was one of three deputies who responded to a call about a fight between an adult and a juvenile. Olson and the others found an injured 15-year-old boy at the scene and were told that Capps had pushed the teen off his bike, gotten into a fistfight with him and then choked him before fleeing on foot.
Capps had been tailed by a resident of the trailer park, and Olson soon found the pair in a field.
The deputy shot Capps five times as Capps approached. Capps was armed with a sharp stick, according to interviews with Olson and the trailer park resident.