LADUE, Mo. (KMOV.com) – The woman who was shot by a police officer in the Ladue Crossing parking lot has filed a lawsuit against the officer, police chief and City of Ladue.
In the lawsuit, Ashley's Hall Attorney William Holland contend that her 4th and 14th Amendment rights were violated, that she suffered “negligent infliction of emotional distress” at the hands of the officer and have left her “permanently disabled.”
Former officer Julia Crews shot Ashley Hall in the parking lot of the Schnucks in April. Police said they received a call from the store about two shoplifters. At the time, police said Hall tried to resist and a struggle began before Crews shot Hall.
Crews’ attorney later said she meant to grab for her taser but grabbed her gun by mistake. Crews has since resigned from the police department.
Hall said she is dealing with the aftermath of the shooting, which includes recovery from several serious injuries and mental anguish.
"I thank God I have been resuscitated and I am living, but I am living hard," Hall said.
In the lawsuit, Hall’s attorneys allege she was assaulted by Schnucks employees before Crews, who had been called to scene, spotted her. The suit also contends that Hall did not try to flee but instead, tried to tell Crews she had been assaulted.
Schnucks had put out a call for shoplifting, but Hall's attorneys said she had two balloons and a receipt when approached by officers.
Hall has a history of medically diagnosed strokes, which makes communication difficult, the lawsuit says. Lawyers for Hall say Crews recognized that Hall was “altered,” possibly due to a mental health issue and add that she was unarmed.
Crews did not believe Hall had been assaulted by Schnucks employees, but noticed Hall was injured and called for an ambulance, the lawsuit contends. Another officer at the scene instructed Hall to sit on the curb before paramedics arrived and treated Hall’s injuries. That officer said Hall was cooperative, the lawsuit claims.
After the other officer was called away, Hall’s attorneys say she tried to get up because a knee injury she suffered made sitting painful. Crews ordered her to remain sitting, but Hall tried to explain why she could not sit any longer. Hall’s attorneys contend that she was not being aggressive or threatening when Crews put her hand on her gun. Hall then followed Crews’ instructions and sat down, her lawyers say.
The pain in her knee made sitting “unbearable” so Hall tried to stand up again before Crews ordered her to sit, the lawsuit says. Crews allegedly tried to handcuff her but failed and Hall began to fear 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,” the lawsuit contends.
The lawsuit also claims Ladue police have a history of racial profiling.
Crews was then able to get one handcuff around one wrist but when asked if Hall was under arrest, said “no,” the lawsuit says.
Hall’s attorneys claim she then ran towards an urgent care facility because she feared for her safety before Crews pulled out her gun and shot her in the back. Hall’s attorneys say her arms were above her head and that Crews was recorded on video saying “she’s running away.”
In addition, Hall’s attorneys contend no warning was given that lethal force was going to be used.
As a result of the incident, Hall suffered numerous injuries including, a collapsed lung, rib fractures, peritonitis, shock, cardiac arrest and a spleen laceration that required splenectomy.
The lawsuit says Crews actions “evidence a lack of proper law enforcement training.”
Crews' attorney told News 4, "Julia Crews has not plead guilty to any charges. I have not seen the civil suit as of yet to respond."
"What I really want is the support, the financial support from the City of Ladue to help me," Hall said.
The City of Ladue released the following statement about the lawsuit:
Out of respect for all parties, we will not be commenting on pending litigation.
Hall has set up a GoFundMe to help pay for her medical expenses.