NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The family of a teen who died after being struck by a vehicle while fleeing from a North Charleston police officer is suing the city and the former officer.
Jalen Carter died from his injuries on Nov. 17, 2017, approximately six days after the incident, according to the lawsuit filed on Oct. 4.
The suit names the City of North Charleston and former officer Wayne Pavlischek, alleging negligence, excessive force, wrongful death and improper search and seizure.
The suit states that on or about Nov. 11, 2017, at approximately 3:44 p.m., Carter and a friend were standing outside Appian Way Apartments off Patriot Boulevard. According to the lawsuit, Pavlischek attempted to make contact with Carter and his friend when Carter began to flee on foot.
“At or near the time of the contact with Jalen, Officer Pavlischek pulled his gun and started running after Jalen through the grounds of the Appian Way Apartments,” the suit states.
As Carted fled on foot, he attempted to cross Patriot Boulevard and was struck by a car and died later.
The lawsuit claims Carter was unarmed and therefore not a threat to the public or the officer, which meant lethal force was not justified; the officer should only have pulled his gun if lethal force is appropriate, it states.
The suit claims the officer “did not use sufficient care to know and realize that Jalen was unarmed and was not posing a threat of severe bodily injury or death” and that the officer had a duty to “properly and accurately assess a specific situation before resorting to potential use of lethal force.”
The suit claims the City of North Charleston was negligent in failing to provide suffient training on “how to apprehend a fleeing suspect and when to use lethal force.”
The family has requested actual and punitive damages and a jury trial, according to court documents.
A request for comment from the North Charleston Police Department has not yet been returned.