MOORESVILLE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – Attorneys for the Town of Mooresville were in court Wednesday, as they argued against claims that two of their police officers wrongfully killed Chris Craven in Aug. 2020.
Chris’ wife, Amy Craven, says Chris was complying with officer commands when he was shot outside their Mooresville home. Now, she is suing the town and the two officers for $25,000.
According to the lawsuit and details revealed in court Wednesday, the Craven’s oldest daughter called 911 to report Chris had assaulted Amy, was threatening suicide, and had a gun. The town’s lawyers said Chris could be heard on the 911 call saying, “when the cops get here, I’ll be dead,” and “you’re not going to have a father anymore.”
They argued the 911 call was evidence that Chris was preparing to die by cop and validation for feeling threatened by him.
Amy’s lawyer argued the officers did not hear the 911 call before arriving at the home and only knew that they were arriving at a domestic incident with a possible weapon.
He also argued that Chris was complying with the officer’s commands when they asked him to raise his hands and only lowered his hands when they asked him to get on the ground. Police officers testified that when Chris put his hands down, they believed he was reaching for a gun that was holstered at his waist. A gun was found next to Chris’ body after he was shot.
Amy’s lawyer said text messages show the police officers were joking about killing Chris months after it happened.
“I do not believe that every police officer is bad. And I do not think every police department is bad. But there is a big problem in Mooresville,” Amy told Queen City News in an exclusive February interview.
Attorneys for Mooresville stated that officers go through de-escalation and mental health training, but Amy’s lawyer argued the two officers ignored that training when they shot Chris. According to their lawsuit, “a total of four seconds elapsed from the time the first officer instructed Chris to put his hands up, then get on the ground, and when Officer Novelli began firing at Chris.”
Their lawsuit claims Chris was shot about 20 times by the officers’ high-powered rifles.
A special prosecutor cleared the officers of any criminal charges in 2021.
The purpose of Wednesday’s hearing was for a judge to decide whether the case should move forward to a jury trial. He will also decide what evidence if any, to unseal. He has not yet released a decision.