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Hunter Brittain family files lawsuit against former deputy, Lonoke County sheriff

Hunter Brittain's family announced that they will be suing former deputy Michael Davis and Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley in connection to the fatal shooting.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — It has officially been a full year since 17-year-old Hunter Brittain was fatally shot during a traffic stop in Lonoke County.

The case of Hunter Brittain has gained national attention over the past year, with renowned civil rights attorney Ben Crump representing the Brittain family.

The family's legal team, which includes Crump and Devon M. Jacob, filed a lawsuit on Thursday against former deputy Michael Davis and Lonoke County Sherriff John Staley in the death of Hunter. 

Following the announcement of the lawsuit, the Brittain family's legal team released the following statement:

With the lawsuit filed today against former deputy Michael Davis and Lonoke County Sheriff John Staley, we move one step closer to achieving justice for Hunter Brittain, his family, and for the other two boys who are forever traumatized by this tragedy. 

Not only was Hunter unarmed, complying, and posing no threat to the deputy, he was in fact trying to protect him by grabbing a bottle of antifreeze to put behind the wheel of his truck so it wouldn’t roll back into the deputy. Without warning or cause, Davis fired a shot into the 17-year-old’s neck, killing him. The failures of former deputy Davis and the Lonoke County Sheriff are extensive, disturbing, and directly caused the tragic and preventable death of Hunter Brittain. 

Hunter’s family had dreams of watching him attend prom, graduate, and go on to pursue a career with Nascar. Now, they cling to their fight for justice and accountability. It is our endeavor to help them get it.”

RELATED: Former deputy found guilty of negligent homicide in Arkansas teen's death

The family's lawsuit comes after former deputy Davis was found guilty of negligent homicide in a trial that spanned multiple days back in March. 

Davis was originally charged with manslaughter, and after March's verdict, he was sentenced to 1-year in prison and a $1,000 fine.

The trial months ago was filled with mixed emotions, with Hunter's family and Davis' former boss both commenting on the verdict. 

"I was not happy. All I wanted from day one is for him to get a felony where he could not be in law enforcement again and carry a weapon. That's all I asked for," Rebecca Payne, Hunter's grandmother, said after the trial.

"Although Mr. Davis no longer works for my office, I’ve been following this case closely. I respect the decision of the jury. As I have said since day one, this was a tragic event and we all need to continue praying for those involved," Lonoke County Sherriff John Staley said after the trial.

The announcement of the lawsuit also comes after both the Brittain family and Michael Davis said that they'd pursue civil lawsuits against the Lonoke County Sheriff's Office. 

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