Family sues officer, JPD after son's 2015 death - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Family sues officer, JPD after son's 2015 death

Crime scene tape surroudning Grant Finley's house following his death. (Source: KAIT) Crime scene tape surroudning Grant Finley's house following his death. (Source: KAIT)
Dash cam video from JPD shows officers surroudning Grant Finley's home. (Source: KAIT) Dash cam video from JPD shows officers surroudning Grant Finley's home. (Source: KAIT)
Grant Finley's father, Chris, shows us photos of his son during a 2015 interview following his son's death. (Source: KAIT) Grant Finley's father, Chris, shows us photos of his son during a 2015 interview following his son's death. (Source: KAIT)
Christopher Finley following his arrest on January 24, 2014 (Source: Craighead Co. Sheriff's Office) Christopher Finley following his arrest on January 24, 2014 (Source: Craighead Co. Sheriff's Office)
JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -

The family of a man shot and killed by a Jonesboro police officer is suing that officer and the police department.

Grant Finley was shot and killed during an incident in April 2015 at a home on Walnut Street in Jonesboro.

The lawsuit was filed on March 30, 2018, in the Eastern District Court of Arkansas. It names Officer Heath Loggains, Jonesboro Police Department, Police Chief Rick Elliott, and several unidentified officers listed as "John and Jane Does."

The lawsuit is based on three claims: the unreasonable seizure of Chris Finley violated his 4th and 14th amendment rights; failure to instruct, supervise, control and discipline directed against the city of Jonesboro; and violating Finley's civil rights.

According to police, Finley was reportedly armed with a baseball bat, screaming in the front yard of the home on Walnut street when officers responded to a call.

Finley ran into the home and officers were unable to enter.  Several hours later, Finley came out from the home when Officer Heath Loggains confronted him.

Police stated Finley entered his home and "attempted to slam the door shut on the pursuing officer."

As Loggains was pushing on the door, police said Finley struck the officer on the arm with a machete.

The officer then drew his weapon and fired several times at Finley, according to an initial news release sent after the 2015 incident.

Several hours later, a tactical team entered the home and found Finley dead on the floor of the home.

In May 2015, Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington determined the officer would not face charges in Finley's death.

When Ellington released the dash cam video, Region 8 News spoke on-one-on with Law Professor Steve Mulroy. At the time, he said if a civil lawsuit was filed questions of necessity would be raised.

"The question lingers, if they had been more patient, would that person be alive today," Mulroy said. "Whether they could have waited him out, talk him down before the necessity of deadly force arose."

That's what had Finley's father concerned when Region 8 News spoke with him several days after his son was killed.

Chris Finley is listed as the plaintiff in the civil lawsuit representing his son's estate.

He was at his son's home hours before the incident began unfolding as police were there to serve a warrant.  

"I don't know why it had to go this way. He didn't have to die," Finley told a Region 8 News reporter in 2015.

Now, he's suing.

In the lawsuit, he says his son "died as a result of the unnecessary, unlawful lethal force... Grant Finley did not pose an immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury to any person. The use of deadly force was unreasonable and in violation of the Constitution of the United States."

The lawsuit also brings up the Jonesboro Police Department's policies.

The lawsuit claims the city and police department "intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with deliberate indifference to the rights of the inhabitant of the City failed to train, instruct, supervise, control, and/or discipline, on a continuing bases, Defendant Loggains, as well as other members of the Jonesboro Police Department" in regards to use of lethal force, mental health programs, and communications with each other and with the public.

The lawsuit seeks "damages, including punitive damages, all in excess of that required for federal diversity jurisdiction" as well as attorneys' fees and costs.

Region 8 News reached out to the city of Jonesboro for a comment.

"The City has no comment on an open lawsuit," Communications Director Bill Campbell said in an e-mail.

Here is a copy of the full lawsuit:

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