Suit against city slated to be heard June 2009

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 1, 2008


A lawsuit against the city likely will not be heard by a jury until June 2009.

A schedule set in U.S. District Court in Mobile said both sides in Roderick Prince’s lawsuit against the city and several members of the drug unit expect the case to last about four days, excluding jury selection.

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Court records show both sides believe a settlement is unlikely.

Prince claims he was visiting a friend on Gaines Street in January 2006, and when he exited the house, a group of men on the corner began firing weapons at police officers in an unmarked vehicle.

The officers returned fire, according to the report, and Prince ran. He was shot in the foot.

Prince’s attorney, J.L. Chestnut Jr., has filed documents saying witnesses alleged a police officer placed a weapon about 4 feet from where Prince lay on the ground. But no fingerprints or residue were on Prince’s hands.

Officers arrested Prince and charged him with eight counts of attempted murder. The court dismissed seven of the charges.

Prince alleges the officers deprived him of his constitutional rights by using excessive force and detaining him.

On the other side, the city claims the use of force was reasonable. There was gang activity in the area and before police officers could get out of their vehicles, shots were fired at them.

The officers have alleged that Prince ran across the street as he fired an assault weapon at them, and they met force with force.