A family in St. Louis has filed a federal lawsuit in response to a police raid that claimed the life of their loved one four years ago. A St. Louis police SWAT team shot and killed a Black man in 2017 during a “no-knock” raid at his home based on false information, according to a lawsuit filed by his family last week.“We demand justice for Don Clark, Sr., a beloved 63-year-old father, grandfather, and Army veteran who was killed by the SLMPD during an unlawful “no-knock” raid on his home in February 2017,” civil rights law firm ArchCity Defenders stated in a recent tweet.
We demand justice for Don Clark, Sr., a beloved 63-year-old father, grandfather, and Army veteran who was killed by the SLMPD during an unlawful “no knock” raid on his home in February 2017. pic.twitter.com/SAOweJFpNZ
Clark was unarmed, the lawsuit claims. Officers didn’t give Clark — who walked with a cane and had poor eyesight and hearing — medical aid and only called for emergency medical services after “crucial minutes had passed,” lawyers wrote.
At the time, the police department said officers came under fire while serving the search warrant and found two handguns and illegal drugs, including heroin, in Clark’s home, The St. Louis Post Dispatch reported in 2017, citing police documents.
Sam Dotson, who was the police chief at the time, told the newspaper the raid was part of a six-month investigation into three homes on Clark’s block.
Multiple states and cities limited or banned no-knock search warrants after police officers fatally shot Breonna Taylor while executing such a warrant at her home in March 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky. The Louisville Courier-Journal later found that police in the city disproportionately targeted Black residents with no-knock searches.
“I want them to get rid of that ‘no-knock warrant thing. I feel it shouldn’t exist,” Sherrie Clark-Torrence, Clark’s daughter, said in a press release. “I feel by them doing that they would be saving a lot of people’s lives.”
Data from the research collaborative Mapping Police Violence showed that St. Louis police killed 42 people from 2013 through 2020, the highest per capita rate among the nation’s 100 largest cities. Of the 42 people killed, 37 were Black.