City of Hammond sued after sheriff shoots man

Michelle Massey Oct. 18, 2010, 3:00am

The family of a deceased Louisiana man has filed a lawsuit against a Tangipahoa sheriff's deputy and the city of Hammond accusing the officer of shooting the man without just cause.

Tonya Sanchez, Thomas F. Sanchez, Jr. and Hazel Sanchez as guardian of Tutrix and Curatrix of Tyler Sanchez filed suit against Garrett M. Banquer, Jacob F. Schwebel, Daniel Edwards, Sheriff Tangipahoa Parish and the city of Hammond on Sept. 14 in Tangipahoa Parish District Court. The defendants removed the case to federal court in New Orleans on Oct. 8.

Tommy Ferndad Sanchez Sr. was shot and killed by a Tangipahoa Sheriff's deputy and a Hammond police officer on March 7, 2007.

According to the lawsuit, deputy Schewebel and officer Banquer were conducting a surveillance of a property located on Jefferson Lane in Ponchatoula. The surveillance was compromised and the officers began an extensive search of the premises, the complaint states.

The shooting occurred after Sanchez drove down Jefferson Lane and turned into a driveway.

As he was backing out of the driveway, the officers approached him. As he put the vehicle in forward, Schewebel fired three shots at Sanchez and Banquer fired four shots at Sanchez, killing him.

The officers are accused of negligence and gross negligence for creating a dangerous and threatening situation, negligently discharging their firearm when there was no just cause or reason, creating a threatening situation, using deadly force, placing oneself in a dangerous and hazardous position and recklessly taking action that created a threatening situation.

The sheriff and the city are accused of negligence for failing to properly train and supervise officers and deputies, failing to adequately plan and supervise the surveillance procedure, failing to follow their own policies and procedures, ratifying the negligent actions of the officers and failing to provide any oversight or deterrence.

The family is seeking damages for loss of support, loss of love and affection, loss of guidance and direction, interest and court costs.

The plaintiffs are represented by New Orleans attorneys Lloyd N. Frischhertz of Frischhertz & Associates and Carl D. Todd Campbell, II. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:10-cv-03399

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