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Robber shot by Cleveland police: Don’t dismiss my lawsuit, even though I lied in a deposition

January 25, 2018 GMT

Robber shot by Cleveland police: Don’t dismiss my lawsuit, even though I lied in a deposition

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A robber paralyzed after being shot by a Cleveland police officer is asking a federal judge not to dismiss his lawsuit after he admitted he lied in a deposition about where he stashed a gun prior to the shooting.

Alex Littlejohn, 24, wrote in a filing Tuesday that his incorrect statement doesn’t change the fact that he didn’t have a gun when officer Ronald Myers shot him outside a Family Dollar at Payne Avenue and East 34th Street in May 2014.

“Understand that Littlejohn is not attempting to condone changing sworn testimony. He is not,” the filing says. “But the weight and context of the changed testimony must be taken into consideration. In either of Littlejohn’s statements, he remains unarmed before Officer Myers even touches him.”


(You can read the filing here or at the bottom of this story.)

Littlejohn is serving a 28-year prison sentence for robbing the Family Dollar, as well as a previous robbery. He filed suit against Myers in 2015.

He said in a 2016 deposition that he gave a gun he used to rob the store to his accomplice, his half-brother John Tisdel. He claims that Myers grabbed him after he left the store and they struggled before Littlejohn ran away. Myers fired a shot that hit Littlejohn’s lower back.

After his deposition, Littlejohn told his attorney Paul Cristallo that his recounting of the altercation wasn’t entirely true. Instead, Littlejohn said he threw the gun after he ran out the back of the store. The city of Cleveland found out about this through a statement Littlejohn wrote on Dec. 11.

City attorney John Bacevice Jr., who is representing Myers, wrote in a motion in January that Littlejohn’s note contradicts his sworn deposition “and is tantamount to an admission that he committed perjury.” He asked U.S. District Judge Dan Polster to throw the case out as a sanction.

Cristallo said he consulted an ethics attorney on how to proceed after Littlejohn revealed his lie.

Littlejohn’s filing says his decision to admit to lying in his deposition must be considered in his favor “in the face of improper and unacceptable behavior.” It said that this now gives the city ample opportunity to impeach Littlejohn on the stand at trial and harms his already-hurt credibility from being a convicted armed robber.

That should be enough and serve as punishment for his lie, the filing says.

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