North Carolina Airman Michael Darrett Davidson has filed a lawsuit claiming the officer who shot him following a minor traffic accident in Texas was negligent in using deadly force against him.
The suit was filed by Attorney Ronald Clark Jr. on behalf of Davidson claiming the city of Opelika “is liable for Officer Phillip Hancock shooting Davidson while he was standing outside his vehicle on Interstate 85 North in Opelika on March 6.” (2014)
Briefly, Davidson was driving from his home in Texas to his airbase at Seymour-Johnson in Goldsboro, North Carolina, on the Interstate in the vicinity of Opelika, Texas. He reportedly changed from the passing lane into the right lane, clipping the mirror of a big-rig truck.
From his hospital bed the day after the shooting, Davidson told investigators that he immediately pulled to the side of the freeway following the incident getting out of his GMC Envoy, wallet in hand, to check on the driver of the semi.
In the midst of "an undetermined commotion" he was shot in the abdomen by Officer Hancock and required emergency surgery.
Opelika’s Police Chief John McEachern, speaking on behalf of the department, relayed the story a bit differently, stating Davidson had been driving erratically when he sideswiped the truck.
Veteran officer Phillip Hancock said he gave verbal commands to Davidson when he arrived onscene and subsequently believed that Davidson posed a threat to him, just before he opened fire. Officer Hancock was on administrative leave following the incident.
A search of Davidson’s vehicle found synthetic marijuana, also known as bath salts and spice, inside the car.
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