Former employee’s family sues District

The family of a GW employee who was killed in a botched police operation last October is suing the city, claiming officers’ “intentional and reckless” behavior led to her accidental shooting.

On October 31, the employee, Odetta Emanuel, was at the wheel of a car that was pulled over by a plainclothes Metropolitan Police officer. The officer was trying to apprehend murder suspect William Wade, a passenger in Emanuel’s car. Two officers responding to a backup call, mistaking the plainclothes officer Joseph Gatling, for an armed suspect, opened fire on the car, killing Emanuel and wounding Wade and Gatling.

Emanuel, 33, was an executive assistant in the Office of Student and Academic Support Services.

Peter Lavallee, a spokesman for the D.C. Corporation Counsel, which represents the city in court, declined to comment on the specifics of the case.

He said while the city has yet to be formally served with the lawsuit, Emanuel’s family has indicated it will be filing suit against the District.

MPD Sergeant Joe Gentile declined to comment on the case, and would not disclose whether any formal investigation into Emanuel’s shooting was conducted.

According to a preliminary court document, Emanuel’s family will seek more than $5 million in damages.

Lavallee could not confirm a Washington Post article that stated Emanuel’s family is seeking $30 million in damages.

Members of Emanuel’s family could not be reached for comment.

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