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'Straight up assassination': Family suing after police shoot, kill man while at the wrong house
Image source: KOAT screenshot

'Straight up assassination': Family suing after police shoot, kill man while at the wrong house

The family of a man shot and killed by police after they went to the wrong house, have announced their intention to file a lawsuit, multiple outlets reported.

"This horrific night that happened feels like a horrible nightmare," new widow Kim Dotson said at a press conference Thursday, her family at her side. "This careless act of not being at the right address has taken everything from this family."

"We want to ensure that this tragedy that has devastated our family does not ever happen again."

"This was a straight-up assassination of Robert Lee Dotson," said California attorney Shon Northam during the press conference, as reported by Farmington Daily Times.

During the conference, the family's legal team announced their intention to file a civil lawsuit in federal court, urged the firing or resignation of Farmington Police Chief Steve Hebbe, and asked authorities to pursue criminal charges against the officers who shot Robert Dotson.

The case stems from an incident on April 5 in the New Mexico town of Farmington around 11:30 p.m. Police shot and killed Dotson in the doorway of his home that night after going to the wrong house to respond to a domestic violence call.

Beyond the undisputed facts that police shot and killed Dotson and police were at the wrong house, the narratives of the police and the family radically diverge, as CNN reported Sunday. What transpired between the police knocking on the door and Dotson being shot depends on who you ask and possibly, what video footage you are viewing.

Letters from the legal teams acquired by KOB-TV lay out an explanation of events as seen by both sides of the case.

According to the the Dotson family's legal team, when Dotson answered the door with a gun, he was "holding the gun and not pointing it at the officers." Further, they say the gun was "clearly pointed down" when officers yelled "hey" and "heads." Attorneys for the police say Dotson "pointed his gun directly at Officer Wasson."

According to the Dotson family's legal team, a noise police heard was Dotson unlocking his door to answer it, having come from upstairs where he was "likely asleep." Attorneys for the police say the sound they heard was "the distinctive sound of someone inside the house rack[ing] a firearm."

According to the Dotson family's legal team, police screamed "hey" and "heads" when Dotson opened the door. Attorneys for the police say they announced three times that they were police as they knocked three times on the door. Further, they say they commanded Dotson to put his hands up, but instead, Dotson pointed his gun.

Watch KOAT's coverage of the Dotson family's press conference below.

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