Fraser police sued by suspect who was shot after chase
FRASER (WJBK) - Fraser police is facing a lawsuit after shooting a man following a police chase - caught on camera.
The police department says it was justified, but the man's attorney disagrees.
The dashcam video showing a Fraser police officer shooting Enzo Evangelista is now at the center of a federal lawsuit.
Evangelista is suing the city of Fraser and its police department.
"I don't know what's in their mind, but I know a wrongful shooting when I see one," said his attorney Albert Addis.
It all happened last August after Evangelista failed to pull over when officers tried to stop him for going through a red light. He led them on a low speed chase through Fraser into Clinton Township.
Police say Evangelista rammed police cars. He's seen on dash cam video hitting one of them. But his lawyer Addis says that is not the entire story.
"I see him pinned in," he said. "The first collision is the police car hitting him not the other way around."
Then shots ring out from inside a police cruiser, striking Evangelista in the head and shoulder.
"There will never be a full recovery," said Addis. "A portion of his brain was destroyed that he will never be able to live a normal life or feel or understand the kind of joy that normal people feel."
Addis said that the 29-year-old posed no threat to police. His hands were visible and he was clearly unarmed.
"Enzo's car is completely stopped and pinned in," Addis said. "Three sides curb on the other side. He is in the driver seat, he is visible, he is clearly illuminated.
"He can't hurt these people, he's in a tiny little Mustang, they've got SUVs and the big bumpers and everything else. There is no reason to shoot this boy."
The Fraser Police Department's Internal Affairs division investigated the shooting and cleared the officer who pulled the trigger.
Evangelista was arraigned from his hospital bed on felony assault charges, fleeing and eluding police and driving on a suspended license. He is currently on probation for fleeing a police officer.
A judge threw out the two assault charges against Evangelista after watching the dash cam video, saying he had no intention of hitting officers with his car.
FOX 2 reached out to the Fraser city attorney about the lawsuit, but have not heard back yet.