May 31, 2023
"If we weren't on camera, I would have killed you," a former Pittsburgh police officer allegedly told Troy Reed while performing security work at Target.
Attorneys who brokered an $8 million settlement over police involvement in the death of a Pittsburgh man are going after the same defendant for a second time.
Todd Hollis of Todd J. Hollis Law and Martell Harris of The Trial Law Firm filed a complaint Tuesday against former Pittsburgh police officer Keith Edmonds for allegedly using excessive force against plaintiff Troy Reed while doing security work at an East Liberty Target. The suit, captioned Reed v. Target, surfaced by Law.com Radar.
The plaintiff claimed that Edmonds told Reed, “If we weren’t on camera, I would have killed you.”
The filing comes less than a month after Hollis and Harris reached their multimillion-dollar settlement with the city of Pittsburgh in a wrongful death suit filed by the family of Jim Rogers, who died after being tased by police in October 2021. Edmonds was one of 11 police officers named as a defendant in the suit.
According to WPXI.com, Edmonds was one of five officers fired after Rogers’ death.
As in Rogers’ suit, Reed accused Edmonds of excessively using his taser. The incident outlined in Reed’s complaint precedes Rogers’ death by several months.
Reed alleged in his four-page complaint that Edmonds tased him in June 2021 while working security detail on behalf of Pittsburgh and Target. According to the complaint, Edmonds pursued Reed after a Target employee claimed Reed had stolen merchandise, but Reed did not attempt to flee.
The complaint brings a count of excessive force against Edmonds and a count of common law battery against Edmonds, Target and the city of Pittsburgh. The case is assigned to U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Reed Eddy of the Western District of Pennsylvania.
Hollis said the plaintiff’s team is still working out which of the two defendants Edmonds was working for when he tased Reed.
Attorneys for the three defendants have not yet appeared, and media contacts at Target and the Pittsburgh City Law Department did not respond to requests for comment by press time.
Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin partner Paul Krepps defended Edmonds in Rogers’ suit but said, as of Wednesday, he was not involved in Reed’s case.
Hollis said the complaint speaks for itself but would like to see it make a larger positive impact.
“It’s my hope that … this lawsuit will potentially bring the parties together to discuss what changes need to be made so that these scenarios become few and far between,” he said.
Hollis said he hoped the money could be paid to the victims, but that’s not enough in some situations.
“Civil rights issues and things that affect our daily living should be at the top of the totem pole with respect to their importance,” he said.