CAMDEN — A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against Atlantic City and several of its police officers filed in response to the 2012 shooting death of resort resident Derreck Mack.
Mack’s mother, Ruby Conde, filed the lawsuit after police shot and killed her son Dec. 17, 2012, near the Stanley Holmes Village apartment complex in Atlantic City.
At 2 p.m. that day, police were called to a report of two armed men at Stanley Holmes. As the two men tried to run, officers ordered them to stop and drop their handguns, according to press reports.
Calls for comment to the Atlantic City Police Department and the lawyer representing Mack’s family were not returned Thursday.
Police say Terry Davis, then 24, of Atlantic City, dropped his gun and was arrested.
Mack, who was 18, ran away from police.
“They had to have seen the blood.”
The police chase ended on the 200 block of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard when an officer fired several shots that hit Mack, who police said began to pull out a gun.
A grand jury declined to indict the police officer, John Smith.
In a civil lawsuit, Conde claimed her son was unarmed and was shot in the back as he attempted to surrender to police. The suit also claims Mack was not given proper medical attention, contributing to his death.
“At this point, while (Mack) was surrendering, (the officer) fired his service weapon at (Mack), striking (him) twice in his upper and mid left back,” the lawsuit read. “The defendant officers then handcuffed (Mack) and left him in a prone position.”
The officers left Mack on the ground for “several minutes, prone, handcuffed and bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds, before anyone, including the defendant officers, attempted to provide (Mack) with medical assistance,” the lawsuit says.
The federal judge, Joseph Rodriguez, said in a 24-page summary released Tuesday that the lawsuit did not accurately depict the incident.
Federal authorities investigating a drug-trafficking ring tied to the Dirty Blok gang called police to the Stanley Holmes complex that day.
Davis, the suspect who dropped his gun, was convicted as one of 33 people tied to the gang. During that trial, the jury was shown surveillance video that appeared to show Mack pulling for a gun in his waistband, according to the summary.
The judge said Smith’s actions were reasonable and noted officers in these kinds of circumstances must make a decision in seconds.
The summary also stated that there was a call for an ambulance one minute after the shooting. There was nothing different the officers could have done that would have kept Mack alive, it said.