Family of Kent man shot, killed by police files wrongful death lawsuit

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A man armed with a machete was shot and killed by Kent Police on Dec. 17. The man’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit on June 3 against the city of Kent, the Kent Police Department, Kent Police chief of police and the four officers who were involved in the shooting. 

Alex Delaney-Gesing

The family of a Kent resident shot and killed by city police officers in December filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city in federal court in Akron on June 3.

The resident, 25-year-old Douglas Yon, was shot by Kent Police officers after they were called to the scene of a domestic dispute between Yon and his cousin, who lived at the Virginia Avenue residence.

According to the crime report, Yon became physically violent in response to the arrival of four city police officers. Refusing to leave the premises, he charged at them with a two-foot long machete, the report claims.

In the lawsuit, the Yon family claims that he did not raise the machete or threaten the police officers. Instead, they claim he was holding the machete by his side, pointed to the ground, when he walked outside of his cousin’s home.

The lawsuit comes following an independent investigation of the four Kent Police officers—Michael Carnahan, Benjamin Darrah, Sean Driscoll and Dominic Poe—involved in the shooting of Yon.

The investigation, which determined that the officers did not violate any criminal laws during the incident, was required under the long-standing policy that outside agencies must examine any shooting involving police officers.

In response to the lawsuit, the Kent Police Department issued a statement, WEWS newsnet5 reported:

“We know that lawsuits are very common after deadly force incidents. Independent investigations conducted by the Portage County Prosecutor’s Office and the Portage County Sheriff’s Office have concluded that Kent Police officers acted appropriately. We continue to stand behind our officers.”

According to the report, Yon failed to comply with the commands of the officers to drop his weapon. Only then were bullets fired directly at him because, “they feared for their lives and the lives of their fellow officers.”

All four officers, Kent Police Chief Michelle Lee, the Kent Police Department and the city of Kent are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

The family is seeking at least $100,000 in compensatory and punitive damages, as well as to “ensure that future response to 911 calls and arrests are performed consistent with constitutional limits on the use of force,” cleveland.com reported.

Contact Alex Delaney-Gesing at [email protected]