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Family of Anthony Harden threatens $50 million lawsuit against City of Fall River

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The family of a Fall River man who died after being shot by police, has threatened to sue the City of Fall River for over $50 million if they do not receive information that they say they have requested and have not been given.

In a letter addressed to Mayor Paul Coogan, Corporation Counsel Alan Rumsey, Police Chief Paul Gauvin, and City Clerk Alison Bouchard, Attorney Donald Brisson, on behalf of the Estate of Anthony Harden, requested any reports the City has regarding the shooting and death of Harden and the arrest and imprisonment of Anthony Harden’s brother, Antone Harden after the shooting.

Brisson claims that information he has obtained proves that Anthony Harden did not have a knife in his hand at the time he was fatally wounded, nor did he attack an officer with a knife. The investigation into Harden’s death stated otherwise.

In April, the details of the investigation by the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office revealed that “based on a review of the law and all the facts and circumstances related to this incident, there is no basis to conclude that either Fall River Police Officer committed a crime. The fatal shooting of Mr. Harden by a Fall River Police Officer was a justified use of deadly force in response to Mr. Harden’s violent and repeated armed assault on the male police officer.”

The letter also states that the female officer who shot Harden should not have been allowed to respond to domestic violence calls without being evaluated for duty, receiving treatment, counseling and be re-evaluated due to a domestic violence history.

Brisson also believes the Fall River Police Department was negligent by failing to provide the officer with a taser at the time Harden was fatally shot.

In the correspondence, Brisson also states that he feels Anthony Harden’s twin brother Antone was falsely arrested.

“Despite neither having committed a crime nor being suspected of committing a crime, Antone was handcuffed and forced to leave the apartment.”

Brisson stated in the letter that if a response has not been received within six months, a civil complaint will be filed for $50,500,000.

The conclusion of the report released in April by the Bristol County DA states that the shooting of Harden was justified.

“The Fall River Police had probable cause to believe that Anthony Harden committed an Assault and Battery on a Family or Household Member and an Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon. As a result, the Fall River Police had lawful authority to arrest Mr. Harden on these charges. The two Fall River Police Officers lawfully entered 120 Melville Street with the consent of the owner. After the two Fall River Police Officers encountered Mr. Harden and informed him that he was being arrested, Mr. Harden suddenly and violently attacked the male police officer with a knife. Mr. Harden’s attempts to use deadly force to stab the neck area of the officer could reasonably be expected to cause death or serious injury. The male Fall River Police Officer stated that Mr. Harden’s attack caused him to fear for his life. This fear was reasonable based on Mr. Harden’s repeated attempt to stab the male officer in the head and neck. Similarly, the female Fall River Police Officer was reasonable in her belief that Mr. Harden used deadly force against the male officer and that the male officer’s life was in jeopardy. The female Fall River Police Officer shot Mr. Harden twice in his left side, in order to prevent Mr. Harden from causing serious bodily injury and/or death of the male officer.”

To read the full investigative report, click here.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Fed Up

    January 21, 2023 at 1:04 pm

    Bloodsucking lawyers and shady family looking for a payday. You couldn’t pay me what Maura Stealy is making to be a cop in this city. Good job by the Massachusetts judge letting the POS out on GPS on such serious charges as beating his wife and threatening her with a knife. What could go wrong? No accountability for the bleeding heart judges for rereleasing trash back onto the streets but they’re not reeking havoc in their wealthy neighborhoods.

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