West Memphis Police Sued in Fatal Chase into Memphis

JULY 22, 2005 - Posted at 8:49 a.m. CDT

MEMPHIS, TN - A lawsuit has been filed against West Memphis police officers and their city in the death of a man they chased into Memphis.

The Circuit Court suit is on behalf of the minor daughter of Donald Rickard.

He was fatally shot by officers from the Crittenden County city who chased his car across a Mississippi River bridge until it spun out on the Tennessee side in July of last year.

West Memphis officers had stopped Rickard's car on a minor traffic offense, but he took off and they pursued him.  Both Rickard and his passenger, Kelly Allen, were shot as Rickard tried to flee again.

Memphis police found a small amount of heroin in the car, but no weapon.

A Tennessee grand jury indicted West Memphis officers Vance Plumhoff, Tony Galtelli and John Gardner on a reckless homicide charge in Rickard's death.  The case is pending in Criminal Court.

The civil lawsuit asks for unspecified damages.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)