DEARBORN — The family of a man who was killed after walking into the Dearborn Police Station and pointing a loaded gun at officers inside is suing the department for $10 million, alleging wrongful death and excessive force.
Ali Naji, 33, was killed on Dec. 18 after he entered the lobby of the police station, pointed a gun at an officer behind the desk and pulled the trigger. However, the gun malfunctioned or jammed and a Dearborn police officer shot and killed him.
The Dearborn police officer had no choice but to take defensive action. – Lt. Mike Shaw, Michigan State Police
The Michigan State Police is handling the investigation and Lt. Mike Shaw said the officer had no choice but to take defensive action.
According to police, Naji stole the gun earlier in the day and, an hour later, carried it into the lobby of the police station. The officer was behind bullet resistant glass and can be seen on video sliding it open.
“It was a close call,” Shaw said at the time. “If he would have fired I don’t know, and that will be something that we look at as far as the partition goes, how exactly bulletproof that is, but his intent was to hurt someone.”
Naji’s former attorney, Nabih Ayad, said the man had suffered from severe mental illness and that’s what drove his actions.
This week, three months after Naji was killed, his family is suing the police department and the officer who killed him, calling Naji a “truly remarkable individual” who lived his life to the fullest. The lawsuit states that the officer shot Naji in the head, chest, abdomen, left arm, genitals and both legs.
The family is suing for wrongful death and excessive force, saying the officer didn’t do enough to deescalate the situation.
“Reasonable officers in the position of (the officer) at the time of this incident… would have known, in light of existing law, that the unlawfulness of this action was apparent under the circumstances, would be a violation of clearly established law and of Naji’s constitutional rights against unlawful deadly force,” the lawsuit states.
According to Naji’s family’s attorney, Amir Makled, the officer who killed him failed to take any steps to deescalate the situation and deemed it appropriate to shoot and kill him.
Ali Naji was shot and killed after pointing a stolen gun at an officer at the Dearborn Police headquarters
The lawsuit also claims that the department has an “unconstitutional policy” of using excessive force – citing the shooting of Kevin Matthews in 2015 and Janet Wilson in 2016, following an incident at the Fairlane Mall.
The suit cites several other incidents over the past nine years, including when two armed men entered the Dearborn Police Station in 2017.
According to the suit, the city’s previous handling of people with mental health concerns was the “moving force and proximate cause of (Naji’s) death” and it failed to implement or enforce proper policies or procedures for incidents involving armed individuals at the Dearborn Police Station. It also claimed the department failed to train or supervise the officer who shot and killed Naji.
The family is also suing for assault and battery, gross negligence, violation of the Persons with Disabilities Act and violation of the Freedom of Information Act.
Here is the entire 21-page lawsuit DEARBORN-POLICE-STATION-SHOOTING-complaint.