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Lawsuit filed against Mississippi cities by family of man fatally struck during police pursuit

The family of a Mississippi man killed during a police pursuit in August 2022 is suing two cities, claiming the officers’ reckless behavior led to the man’s death.

The family of Steven Pearson is suing the central Mississippi cities of Pearl and Flowood nearly one year after the 47-year-old was struck on his motorcycle by a man fleeing police. In a June 26 complaint, Ray Gustavis, an attorney for the Pearson family, said the chase lasted 26 minutes and that police could have terminated it before Pearson’s death.

Authorities in Pearl said the August episode started after a city police officer attempted to make a traffic stop, and the driver of a sedan took off. The officer pursued the vehicle into the neighboring city of Flowood, where police there joined the chase. It ended after the fleeing sedan struck Pearson’s motorcycle.

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Pearson flew 20 feet off his motorcycle to his death, according to the complaint. Gustavis said the pursuit violated state law. The family is also suing the man who fled from police and struck Pearson. Officers attempted to pull him over for a tint violation, according to WLBT-TV.

Three weeks before Pearson’s death, another vehicle being pursued by Pearl police crashed into a U.S. Postal Service truck in Jackson, killing mail carrier Brad Pennington, 32. That chase began when police attempted to pull over a man for speeding.

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