Family of Neillsville man shot by cop files claim

Police tape
File photo (MGN Online/Critical Incident Response)

NEILLSVILLE, Wis. (AP) – The family of a man fatally shot by a Neillsville police officer has filed a claim asking the city and the officer for a $2 million settlement.

Officer Aaron Bembnister responded to a domestic disturbance call Dec. 13. According to a prosecutor’s report, Ricky Taylor ignored commands to drop a knife. The report says Bembnister retreated as far as he could when he shot Taylor. Clark County District Attorney Lyndsey Boon Brunette has said Bembnister was justified in using deadly force.

The report said Taylor’s blood alcohol content was 0.198 percent, more than double Wisconsin’s legal limit to drive.

The claim filed Friday alleges the city was negligent in training officers to respond to a person “experiencing an emotional crisis and/or who was intoxicated,” according to the News-Herald Media (http://mnhne.ws/1ruQtBm). The claim also alleges that Bembnister, failed to “act with reasonable care so as to not jeopardize the health and welfare of Ricky Taylor” and that Bembnister used excessive force.

Neillsville city attorney Bonnie Wachsmuth said the city had not been served by Friday afternoon and had no comment. A message left at Wachsmuth’s office Saturday was not immediately returned.

After the serving of the claim, the city will have 180 days to respond, said James R. Koby, the family’s attorney. If the claim is denied, the family intends to file a civil suit against the city, Koby said.

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