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Oklahoma man shot by police sues Oklahoma City

Homicides in Oklahoma City this year are the lowest in several years, police report. [The Oklahoman archives]
Homicides in Oklahoma City this year are the lowest in several years, police report. [The Oklahoman archives]

A man shot in the abdomen while fleeing a traffic stop has filed a federal lawsuit against Oklahoma City, claiming police used excessive force in the altercation.

On Dec. 11, Officer Colton Ellis shot Dorles Ellis, 21, in the abdomen after a foot pursuit that ended in a dark driveway in southwest Oklahoma City.

Dorles Ellis claims in the lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City that the officer shot him from 13 feet away in the dark, without warning.

"(Colton) Ellis did not identify himself as a police officer and gave no verbal commands," the lawsuit claims.

Colton Ellis had been a police officer for two years at the time of the shooting and has returned to full duty after being placed on routine paid administrative leave while the shooting was under investigation. Colton Ellis and Dorles Ellis are not related.

An attorney for Dorles Ellis declined to comment on the lawsuit Monday.

Earlier this year, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater decided not to pursue charges against Colton Ellis in the shooting, but said in a letter to Police Chief Bill Citty that the officer did not employ good police techniques during the incident.

"It is clear to me that Officer Colton Ellis did not employ appropriate tactics nor did he utilize his police equipment to lessen the chance that he or another person would be hurt or killed," Prater wrote.

Dorles Ellis faces felony drug charges in connection with Xanax, ecstasy and marijuana that police allegedly found in the car the night of the shooting. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Dorles Ellis was speeding and ran two red lights while trying to elude police before jumping out of the car and running into a residential area, according to a police affidavit.

Master Sgt. Gary Knight, a police spokesman, said the department does not comment on pending lawsuits as a matter of policy.

Brianna Bailey

Brianna Bailey joined The Oklahoman in January 2013 as a business writer. During her time at The Oklahoman, she has walked across Oklahoma City twice, once north-to-south down Western Avenue, and once east-to-west, tracing the old U.S. Route 66.... Read more ›

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