Father of man killed by Union City police files wrongful death lawsuit

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Father of man killed by Union City police files wrongful death lawsuit

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against Union City and one of its police officers by the father of an unarmed man shot twice in the back during an arrest in December.

The civil lawsuit comes after grand jury decided not to issue an indictment in the case.

Bobby Abbot, the father of Ariston Waiters, filed the wrongful death lawsuit against Union City and Officer Luther Lewis Friday in Fulton County State Court. In the suit Abbot states he is the administrator of his son's estate.

That was news to Mawuli Mel Davis, a lawyer representing Waiters mother and 1-year-old daughter. He said Freda Waiters had already been appointed administrator of the estate in Douglas County.

Davis said he had already given notice to Union City of his intention to file suit on behalf of the daughter once the FBI concludes its civil rights investigation into the case. Davis was unaware of the Abbot lawsuit.

"It is our understanding he was not very involved in Ariston's life," Davis said.

Abbot's lawyer Eric Hertz, said he was unaware that an administrator had been appointed. He declined to comment on Abbot's relationship with Waiters."It will have to be worked out who has the claim," he said.

The unarmed Waiters, 19, was killed after an altercation with officer Lewis on the night of Dec. 14. Last week, a Fulton County grand jury decided not to indict Lewis for any criminal action in Waiters' death.

Union City police officials have maintained that Lewis was justified in his actions, saying in a statement released in January that Waiters "grabbed the officer's service weapon" as he was being handcuffed. He was being taken into custody in connection with a report of shots being fired.

Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard brought the Lewis case to the grand jury. Howard's office maintained that the arrest was illegal because Waiters had broken no laws, Davis said.

The shooting happened after police were summoned to a fight in a subdivision after someone fired a pistol into the air, Davis said. Waiters was not at the fight but he fled when police arrived because he believed he had a warrant out for his arrest for failure to pay probationary fees for a criminal trespassing conviction, Davis said.

Waiters was diagnosed of suffering from bipolar mental illness, Davis said.

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