The family members of Tavis Crane, who was shot and killed during a traffic stop in 2017, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Arlington.
On Feb. 1, 2017, police officer Elise Bowden pulled over Crane, who was with his daughter and several other passengers. She later saw that he had warrants for his arrest, including a probation violation for evading arrest, and called for backup. According to a police report, when additional police officers arrived to the scene, they approached Crane’s car to arrest him. He didn’t comply and put his car in reverse, hitting Bowden and slammed into her patrol car.
One of the backup police officers got into Crane’s vehicle from the rear passenger door and shot him to get him to stop. Crane pulled his vehicle forward and ran over the female officer again, stopping at the end of the road.
The lawsuit filed by Crane’s family paints a different picture of the incident. It alleges that Craig Roper, a police officer named in the lawsuit, jumped in the back seat of Crane’s vehicle and shot Crane as he tried to turn off his vehicle.
The lawsuit also states that Crane’s vehicle didn’t go into reverse until after Roper shot him.
“Once Roper shot Crane for no lawful reason, Crane was no longer in control of the vehicle, did not have the ability to operate the vehicle nor would he have been aware that Bowden was walking behind the vehicle,” the lawsuit explains.
Daryl Washington, the attorney representing the family, said that the officer hit the gear shift after Crane was shot. The gear shift forced the vehicle to go into reverse. When the vehicle rolled forward, Roper allegedly shot Crane again.
The officers took Crane to Arlington Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12:31 a.m.
The lawsuit seeks to recover damages for the family and the two adult witnesses for mental anguish and emotional distress for seeing the event.