Family of man shot, killed by police officer plans lawsuit

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) – The family of a Blytheville man killed by a police officer plans to take legal action against the Blytheville Police Department.

Terrence Dawson was shot and killed May 18 by Officer Stephen Sigman after police say they found Dawson holding a knife to his girlfriend's throat.

Second Judicial District Prosecutor Scott Ellington ruled Sigman was "justified in using deadly force and that no further review of this matter is necessary."

Dawson's family says the ruling is not acceptable and plans to pursue a lawsuit.

"We're going to have to do something to get some action to make them understand that we won't take this," said Lee Robinson, Dawson's stepfather. "I feel we're going to have to have to file a wrongful death suit in order to get some justice."

According to police, an argument between Dawson and his girlfriend led to him pulling a knife on the woman. Prosecutor Ellington said in his letter to Arkansas State Police the investigation revealed "the officers tried to calm Dawson and diffuse the situation."

Mildred Bruce, who saw the incident occur in her living room, says the two officers did not try to calm her son.

"He did not try to give my son a chance. No he didn't," said Bruce.

"They could've had tasers. They could've tried to reason with him. They could've let me try to reason with him. Instead they just rushed in. They endangered us," Robinson said.

Terrence Dawson's family has not yet retained a lawyer.

Click here to read Prosecutor Ellington's letter to Arkansas State Police about the investigation.

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