A Missouri woman shot by police in a shopping center parking lot earlier this year is taking the officer, the city and the city’s police chief to court over injuries she suffered in the incident.
Ashley Hall‘s lawsuit, filed Thursday, accuses police of violating her Fourth and 14th Amendment rights in an April shooting she says caused her emotional distress and left her “permanently disabled,” KMOV 4 reported.
“I thank God I’ve been resuscitated and I’m living, but I’m living hard,” Hall said.
Authorities were responding a call about two shoplifters at the Schnucks grocer in suburban St. Louis when former Ladue police officer Julia Crews shot Hall in the back. At the time, police said Hall was combative and tried to resist arrest before she was shot.
However, an attorney for the officer later said Crews meant to deploy her Taser but mistakenly pulled her gun.
Crews has since resigned from the department and has pleaded not guilty to second-degree assault.
Hall, who was unarmed, said at no point did the officer warn that lethal force would be used. She suffered several injuries, including peritonitis, shock, cardiac arrest, a spleen laceration, collapsed lung and rib fracture, according to the suit. She’s now seeking donations to aid in her recovery, detailing how she was “DOA for two minutes” as a result of the officer’s bullet.
Writing on her GoFundMe page, Hall said, “The doctors told me that I may not talk or walk again. But God’s mercy and grace I am improving, slowly but surely.”
The incident unfolded in April when Shnucks employees put out a call about shoplifters. Hall’s attorneys claim she was assaulted by the store employees before she was met by Crews and another officer, who were called to the scene to investigate.
Hall was suspected of stealing, but her attorneys say she was carrying two balloons and a receipt in hand when authorities approached her in the parking lot. In her lawsuit, the plaintiff, who has a history of medically diagnosed strokes that makes it difficult to communicate, says she tried telling Crews she was assaulted, but the officer didn’t believe her.
The complaint says Crews was aware Hall was injured and could tell she was “altered,” possibly due to a mental health episode / issue. The officer then called for an ambulance.
While being tended to by another officer, Hall was instructed to sit on the curb until paramedics arrived. However, a prior knee injury, the lawsuit contends, made it “unbearably” painful to sit any longer. When she refused to remain seated, Crews reportedly reached for her gun.
According to her lawyers, Hall followed Crews’ instructions to sit but tried to stand up once more due to the pain in her knee. As the officer tried to handcuff her, Hall says she became concerned for her safety “given the history of unarmed black individuals being shot by white officers not only across the country, but specifically in the Saint Louis metropolitan area.”
She says she was attempting to hobble toward a nearby urgent care center when Crews drew her gun and fired, striking her in the back.
The victim insists she wasn’t trying to flee and said the officer’s use of force “evidence a lack of proper law enforcement training.” Hall told KMOV that she forgives Crews but is upset with the city’s response in the aftermath of the incident.
“What I really want is the support, the financial support from the City of Ladue to help me,” he added.
The city of Ladue declined to comment on the pending litigation.
A GoFundMe campaign launched by Hall is collecting donations to go toward her recovery and hopes to raise $10,000.
Watch more in the video below.