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Mother of Dana Fletcher files lawsuit against City of Madison; city responds

Dana Fletcher was fatally shot during an encounter with Madison Police in 2019.

MADISON, Ala. — In October 2019, Dana Fletcher was shot and killed during an encounter with Madison Police. Now, his mother has filed a lawsuit against the city.

Dana Fletcher, 39, was killed in front of his apparent wife and child. The Madison County Sheriff’s Office says Fletcher got out of the van with a gun pointed at police. Two Madison Police officers fired and killed him. 

The sheriff’s office says Fletcher and the woman were uncooperative with officers and there was a gun in the car. A struggle ensued and officers were able to get the woman and child out of the car safely. Officers were still struggling with Fletcher and used a less-than-lethal taser in an attempt to get him under control and disarmed. The less-than-lethal was not effective and the struggling Fletcher allegedly exited the car with the gun in his hand and pointed it at officers. 

Authorities say two Madison police officers fired their weapons and Fletcher was struck.  The officers attempted first-aid on Fletcher, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Madison County DA ruled the shooting as justified and released a portion of the bodycam video.

Now, Fletcher's mother, Deborah Fletcher, has filed a lawsuit against the city. It alleges that the city's and police department's "policies, procedures, practices, and/or customs are unconstitutional to the extent they allow officers to coerce compliance with consensual encounters", and cites incidents involving Dana Fletcher and others, including Sureshbhai Patel, to illustrate this. 

The City of Madison responded, saying:

The City of Madison is aware of a lawsuit filed arising out of a law enforcement encounter with Dana Fletcher that occurred more than two years ago. The City plans a vigorous defense. The encounter at issue was the subject of an extensive independent investigation by the Madison County Sheriff’s Department and the Madison County District Attorney. 

The District Attorney confirmed that Mr. Fletcher possessed and threatened Madison Police Officers with a gun prior to the use of lethal force. The City stands behind its officers and will defend their actions in a court of law. The City will have no further comment on pending litigation.