AP NEWS

Appeals court allows lawsuit against police officer to proceed

May 16, 2019

A lawsuit against a Fort Wayne police officer who shot an unarmed robber in 2015 will go forward after a federal appeals court this week declined to stop it.

Officer Daniel Hartman shot Anthony Gant in the abdomen as he exited a Dollar General store in August 2015. Hartman said he thought Gant, who had just robbed the store with another man, was holding a gun.

Gant pleaded guilty but filed a lawsuit in 2016 seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

Hartman argued a review of video evidence “utterly discredits” Gant’s claim he was shot while trying to comply with officers’ demands or that he did not have to respond to commands from the police.

The appeals court disagreed and dismissed the appeal. The case will be heard in U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne.

The city of Fort Wayne and officers Bradley Griffin and Jason Palm had been named in the lawsuit but were removed, leaving only Hartman as a defendant.

mleblanc@jg.net