John Suayan Jun. 27, 2016, 11:18am


The family of a Beaumont man whose spouse alleges was fatally shot by Beaumont police officers two years ago has pursued legal action.

Stanley J. Leger’s estate filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Beaumont, the Beaumont Police Department, Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames, Beaumont City Manager Kyle Hayes, Beaumont Police Chief James Singletary, and Beaumont patrolmen Joshua Aaron Beard, Ryan Michael Cedars, and R.C. Campbell on June 22 in the Beaumont Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

According to the suit, the incident in question was the result of a month-long dispute between the 80-year-old decedent and his former tenants, Shataria Brown and Thomas Williams. Recent court documents explain that Leger, who was a longtime local taxidermist, rented a nearby property to Brown and Williams in early May 2014 only to evict them for numerous breaches of the lease shortly afterwards.

Brown and Williams, non-parties to the case, purportedly threatened the decedent and his wife, as well as destroyed the rental property. Meanwhile, Leger sought assistance from city officials to no avail.

The suit further states that the Brown and Williams pulled into the driveway of the home on June 24, 2014, to which the decedent “fired a single shot which did not strike any person or the house,” adding that the ex-tenants subsequently called the police.

Respondents Beard, Cedars, and Campbell went to the property and permitted Brown and Williams to reoccupy it, the original petition says, while Leger observed the latter with his firearm at his side from the front of his residence. The officers themselves were supposedly not visible to the decedent, who was then shot.

“From his concealed position, defendant Beard fired a single shot from his AR-15 assault rifle,” the suit says.

“Mr. Leger was struck in the left side of his chest and his spine. Mr. Leger fell, mortally wounded in the doorway of his home.”

Per the complaint, the officers approached the house and ordered Leger’s spouse, Flora, with weapons drawn to step away from her husband. It adds that the defendants “made extremely limited attempts to assist or aid” the decedent and blocked emergency medical services workers from the scene.

“Ultimately, defendants Beard, Campbell and Cedars opted to again move the critically injured Mr. Leger by picking him up by arms and legs and walking him out to the street to EMS,” the suit says.

“Mrs. Leger, while detained inside the house per the instructions of the defendants, was not permitted to accompany her husband to the hospital and her last sight of her husband alive was as he was carried by arms and legs from the driveway, stripped of his clothing except his underwear.”

The suit claims that Flora Leger was mistreated by authorities. Her husband died without her at his side, court documents say.

Consequently, the complainants seek unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

They are represented by attorneys Robert G. “Trey” Taylor, III of the law firm R. G. Taylor, II, P.C. & Associates in Houston and Joshua L. Potter of The Potter Law Firm in Texarkana.

Beaumont Division of the Eastern Division of Texas Case No. 1:16-CV-00235-MAC

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