A federal lawsuit brought against the city of Kenner by the family of a suspected car thief who was killed in a police shooting is back on the docket.
U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle in New Orleans decided to dismiss the suit April 13 because the defendants in the case — including Kenner Mayor Mike Yenni and Police Chief Michael Glaser — had not been served with the petition for damages in a timely manner.
The plaintiffs’ lawyer, Lionel “Lon” Burns, also failed to show up on time for an April 8 status hearing in Lemelle’s courtroom.
Last month, Burns and his clients filed a motion asking Lemelle to set aside the dismissal. In documents supporting the motion, Burns apologized for being late to the status hearing. He explained he had been “the victim of unanticipated car trouble” that day, only getting to court after his legal assistant picked him up and drove him there.
Lemelle granted Burns’ motion this week. However, he warned that the case could be dismissed again without further notice if Burns and his clients do not prove they have served the defendants by June 19.
The lawsuit alleges that Kenner police used excessive force and violated the civil rights of Don White, 24, when he was fatally shot during a Nov. 8, 2013, incident in a parking lot outside some apartments at Martinique and West Esplanade avenues.
Police said White was shot once in the head after he began driving a stolen car directly at an officer on foot. White died two days later.
Five different women, four of whom have children by White, sued the city on Nov. 10, 2014. They seek punitive damages and compensation, including $9,216 in funeral expenses.