Man mistakenly shot in 2016 by IMPD officer sues city


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A man from Indianapolis has filed a lawsuit against the city after an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officer shot him in his own driveway.

IMPD called the shooting at that time a mistake. 

The lawsuit was filed on Monday in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis by the attorneys for Carl and Sonia Williams, who are married and live on the 3600 block of Fox Tail Drive. The defendants are the city, the police department and IMPD officer Christopher Mills. 

It happened on Aug. 23, 2016. Sonia Williams came back home after an overnight shift at Carrier Corp.  That’s when she said a man with a rifle came up to her, trying to assault and rob her. 

She called 911 and Carl Williams got his weapon to protect his home. 

“Supreme Court says we’re allowed to have weapons in our home that are legal, like this one,” said Richard Hailey, the attorney representing the Williams family. 

Mills responded to the 911 call.

“Mr. Williams is lit up through the lights in his garage he walks to where the end of his garage meets his paved driveway and all he heard was shots,” Hailey said. 

Carl Williams, an Air Force veteran and a U.S. Postal Service worker, was shot. 

“He’s been treated like a non-entity,” said Hailey, talking about the city response to the matter. 

The lawsuit claimed there was “illegal, unlawful and excessive” force used against Carl Williams. It also said Mills shot Williams unprovoked and that the description of Williams did not even match the description of the suspect from the 911 call made that night. 

“They knew there were people at the house because obviously they made the 911 call,” the attorney said. “Every human being that walks from that house isn’t going to be the perpetrator.” 

Back in 2016 the department called the shooting a mistake, but Carl Williams cannot work for the postal service anymore. He’s on disability. 

“Life-defining. The Carl Williams is a different Carl Williams today than he was on the 23rd day of August in 2016,” Hailey said.

The Williamses also want reform at IMPD, including implicit bias training.

Last year, IMPD officers shot and killed Aaron Bailey, an unarmed black man. The department has since ramped up implicit bias training and, in a settlement with the Baileys, the department pledged to continue its de-escalation training for officers. But, Hailey said the training changes must be more drastic.

IMPD referred to us to the city legal team for comment. The city legal team did not respond for comment. 

The WIlliamses were unavailable for comment Tuesday, too. 

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