City put on notice, dead man's family to sue - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

City put on notice, dead man's family to sue

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The family of a man shot and killed during a wild police chase on the bypass, plans to sue the city of Albany. Clayton Lewis was shot eight times as he sped along the bypass January 20th with a drug agent in his backseat. Officer Mark Farley says he feared for his life when he pumped the shots into Lewis.

In a letter to the city, the family's attorney says Lewis's death was the result of grossly negligent, reckless, unlawful and unjustified conduct committed by Agent Farley and the Drug Unit.

It was certainly one of the wildest rides of Agent Mark Farley's life. And the final ride of Clayton Lewis'. Now, his family has put the city on notice that they plan to sue for his wrongful death.

Assistant City Manager Wes Smith said, "The city of Albany has received a letter from legal counsel stating that they anticipate filing a suit related to the Clayton Lewis case, which of course, was the incident on the bypass where the individual was killed during an arrest, or attempted arrest."

The family says Agent Farley initiated an unlawful traffic stop on Lewis. and that when Lewis started his car and drove away with Farley inside, he was trying to flee from his continued illegal detention, even though a review by another District Attorney concluded there was no criminal negligence on the officers' part.

Smith said, "That's a real positive sign for us, there are civil possibilities and this gentleman's family has decided that they need to pursue that which obviously is their right and of course, we have legal counsel and we'll defend what we've done."

The Estate has intentions to recover the full value of the life of Clayton Lewis in addition to funeral, medical and other necessary expenses resulting from his death.

As a matter of law, municipalities must be put on 30 days notice, before a lawsuit is filed against them. We tried contacting the law firm representing the family today, but did not get a response. 

 Agent Mark Farley works for the Dougherty County Sheriff's office and was assigned to the drug squad. The county has not been put on notice by the family. They have up to a year to file a claim with the county, versus only six months with the city.

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