The news of the fatal shooting of 67-year-old Little Rock resident Eugene Ellison by Little Rock Police Officer Donna Lesher on Dec. 9, 2010, after an altercation in Ellison's apartment, has jumped the pond: The British newspaper The Guardian has picked up the story.
The Guardian is focusing on the deposition of Officer Vincent Lucio taken for the federal civil rights lawsuit brought by Ellison's sons over the shooting. Lucio said he didn't believe Ellison was acting in a way that was a threat to officers' lives before he was shot twice in the chest.
Ellison began struggling with Lesher and her partner, Officer Tabitha McCrillis, after the two came upon Ellison's open door while they were working off-duty security at the Big Country Chateau Apartments at 6200 Colonel Glenn Road and went inside to investigate. At the time he was killed, Ellison was armed only with a walking cane.
Last week's Insider column reported that during her own deposition in the Ellison case, Lesher unflinchingly told plaintiff's attorney Michael Laux that her first response if Ellison had exercised his right to close his door in her face would have been to immediately call in the LRPD S.W.A.T. team.
Lucio — one of four LRPD officers on the scene when Ellison was shot — was asked by Laux if he believed Ellison's behavior at the time of the shooting constituted "deadly force," to which Lucio replied: "Not to me at that time."
From the deposition:
Laux: "And you didn't think — you never saw deadly force being threatened while you were there. Is what I said true?"