Family of man shot in head by police officer sues Metro
Court filings from Seth Greenstone’s mother, who took over as his guardian shortly after the shooting, indicated that Greenstone can no longer speak or comprehend what is said to him.
Updated February 24, 2023 - 11:03 am
A family is suing the Metropolitan Police Department alleging a man’s civil rights were violated when an officer shot him in the head.
Seth Greenstone was bleeding from his neck and hands while holding a box cutter on March 1, 2021 when Officer Vidal Contreras drove up to the corner of East Carey Avenue and North Lamb Boulevard, according to statements from Metro at the time. It appeared Greenstone was trying to harm himself, police said.
Contreras’ body camera showed that he yelled “drop the knife” twice before he opened fire.
Civil court filings from his mother, who took over as his guardian shortly after the shooting, indicated that Greenstone was shot in the head and can no longer speak or comprehend what is said to him.
His mother, Maureen Greenstone, filed a lawsuit Thursday against the department and Contreras, alleging unreasonable search and seizure, excessive force, right to due process, failure to properly train, battery, negligence and violation of the Americans with Disability Act, based on Greenstone’s psychiatric disability of attempting to harm himself.
Metro declined to comment on the complaint, a spokesperson said Friday morning.
The Greenstones are represented by Peter Goldstein, who did not immediately comment on the case.
Contreras was fired following the shooting after a 4-3 vote for administrative disapproval by the the department’s Critical Incident Review Team, but his union, Las Vegas Police Protective Association, sued for his reinstatement.
Before he was fired, the Use of Force Board said Contreras should have created more distance; used cover, like his patrol vehicle; and targeted “center body mass” when using force on Greenstone.
Goldstein referenced these recommendations in the lawsuit, and said Greenstone had not broken any laws, or threatened any citizens or the officer when he was shot.
“Officer Contreras’ preplanning was that he would find the subject and set up containment, wait for other officers to arrive, give commands to the subject, get his low-lethal weapon, and get the subject into custody,” Goldstein wrote in the lawsuit. “Defendant Officer Contreras did not implement his preplanning and did not coordinate a response, slow the momentum or gather resources.”
Contact Sabrina Schnur at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.