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April 10, 2003

Family of deaf man sues over fatal police standoff

From: WMTW, ME - Apr 10, 2003

CARBOROUGH (AP) -- The daughters of a deaf man shot to death in a standoff with police is suing the town of Scarborough and Maine State Police.

The daughters of James Levier say that police should have used a sign language interpreter and a non-lethal weapon to subdue him.

Levier was among a group of former students of the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf in Falmouth who said they were physically and sexually abused by school staff. They could not sue because the statute of limitations had expired, and there were doubts about the future of a state compensation program.

Levier was marching in the parking lot of a supermarket with a rifle on his shoulder. His shirt and van bore the words: "I go to war with lawmakers to free deaf people's rights from discrimination."

A state sharpshooter fired at Levier's shoulder after he aimed the rifle at officers. Scarborough officers believed Levier had fired and shot him.

An investigation by the attorney general's office cleared the officer.

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