A London man shot by a Trotwood Police Officer during a 2012 jaywalking incident is suing the officer and the city for $8 million after he claims the incident left him with life-long injuries and a loss of trust in law enforcement.
Denton Little, who filed a civil lawsuit in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court in March, was granted a jury trial set for early January in front of Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Mary Katherine Huffman.
Last year, a county grand jury declined to indict Trotwood Police Officer Ron Smith for shooting Little, then 40, in the chest as he jaywalked across Olive Road and approached Smith’s cruiser on Lorimer Street on March 25, 2012.
Initial police reports of the incident stated that Smith asked Little to remove his hands from his back pockets and when Little did not do as instructed, Smith concluded that Little, who was unarmed, was advancing in a menacing manner and shot him.
In his statement of facts filed with the court, Little said he was leaving his employer’s house on Lorimer Street between the hours of 5 and 6 p.m. when the incident happened. He claimed Smith was traveling down Lorimer and came to a stop sign at Lorimer and Olive Road when he “aggressively engaged conversation yelling for (Little) to come to his direction.” The statement goes on to say that Smith allegedly yelled for Little to stop. It also said that Little complied with Smith’s order and that Little was “unlawfully and deliberately assaulted twice by bullets from (Smith’s) pistol as (Smith) smiled with heroic look upon his face.”
Little went on to state that the shooting caused him to lose half of a lung, gave him life-long injuries, respiratory problems and a loss of trust law in enforcement.
Smith was placed on administrative leave, but returned to work after a grand jury determined his actions were justified under the circumstances. The jury’s decision followed an internal investigation by the police department that ended with the same conclusion.
Trotwood Police Chief Quincy Pope declined to comment on the lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed against Smith, Trotwood Police Captain John Porter and the city of Trotwood and seeks compensatory damages in the amount of $8 million.