Family files $10M lawsuit over Royal Oak police shooting

Robert Snell
The Detroit News
Cody Reynolds

The family of a 20-year-old Royal Oak man killed after allegedly charging police during a domestic dispute on Monday filed a $10 million lawsuit against the city.

A Royal Oak Police officer illegally shot Cody Reynolds multiple times in the back and violated his civil rights, according to the lawsuit filed by the dead man's mother, Michelle Reynolds, in federal court.

Reynolds' mother accuses Officer Ryan Addis of using excessive force and claims the city has an unconstitutional policy that lets officers use deadly force against citizens.

"Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the Reynolds family, but the city will not offer any comment on the pending litigation," City Attorney David Gillam wrote in an email to The News.

The lawsuit was filed six months after an incident at the Reynolds' family home in the 1000 block of Hoffman.

Police responded to the neighborhood after Reynolds was accused of stabbing his mother and hitting his father in the head with a guitar.

An officer saw Reynolds walking in the area minutes after the call came in, got out of his patrol car, and ordered him to stop, police said.

Reynolds said he had stabbed his mother. The officer ordered him to the ground. He complied initially, but a dash cam recording shows Reynolds rushing toward the officer.

The officer pulled his gun and fired, striking Reynolds, then administered first aid as EMS was alerted to the scene, police said. Medics transported him to Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital, where he died. 

The shooting happened on Hudson near South Wilson, which is around the corner from the family’s home and is north of Interstate 696 and west of Campbell. 

Dash cam video of the confrontation, released hours after the shooting, shows an officer pull up to the scene to find Reynolds standing near a dark vehicle.

Reynolds approaches the officer and is told to put his hands up. He ignores the order and steps toward the officer, and is again told to put his hands up, which he did. The officer orders him to get on the ground, which he does briefly before popping back up and approaching the officer, running toward him.

The officer then fires five shots.

"However, the evidence, including the autopsy report, supports that Officer Addis unlawfully shot Reynolds multiple times in his back without cause, resulting in his death," the family's lawyer A. Vince Colella wrote in the lawsuit.

Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue said the suspect was not armed, but that there’s no way the officer could have known that at the time.

Reynolds’ death was the second fatal officer-involved shooting in Royal Oak in as many months. On April 10, Antonino Thomas Gordon was shot outside of a White Castle restaurant. 

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