CINCINNATI - The family of a 26-year-old woman shot and killed by police have filed a lawsuit and Eric Deters will serve as the family's attorney.
Erica Collins was shot and killed Saturday at Park Valley Apartments after police responded to the complex for a domestic dispute between Collins and her sister.
Cincinnati police say Collins, who was armed with a knife, did not comply with their demands for her to drop the weapon. Collins was shot twice by Officer Matthew Latzy and died at the scene.
It is unclear if Collins lunged at officers or not.
In a statement from Deters, he says that Collins' siblings witnessed the shooting and maintain she was not near anyone when she was shot and that she had dropped the knife.
Deters says the knife was to slash her sister's tires and that he visited the scene of the shooting and spoke with witnesses, who he claims said no one was in, "imminent harm when Erica was shot and killed by a police officer."
In the lawsuit, Deters says the confrontation occurred outside the apartment complex and next to Collins' sister's front driver's side wheel while Collins had a knife in her hand. Officer Latzy told Collins, "Ma'am, drop the knife," to which Collins stated, "I'm fixin' to cut her tires."
The lawsuit claims Latzy then said "No ma'am, don't cut her tires." Deters says in the suit that Collins then stood up without the knife in her hand and said, "how are you just gonna let [Collins' sister] leave?" The suit states Collins then put her hands up in the air and said, "No," and that is when officer Latzy shot Collins twice, once in the head and once in the chest, killing her.
To read the full lawsuit, go to http://goo.gl/QoFuu .
Cincinnati police are refuting Deters claims. Latzy allegedly told police Collins came at him with a butcher knife and dared him to shoot her from only three to five feet away.
Latzy is a 14-year veteran of law enforcement and a former detective who voluntarily went back on patrol because he wanted to be back out in the community, police said.
Cincinnati police indicated that Latzy had a clean performance record prior to the shooting.
Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory also visited the scene on Saturday and asked for the community to withhold judgment, vowing that a thorough investigation would be done.
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