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Family of man fatally shot by Gladewater officer files lawsuit

By Meredith Shamburger
Jan. 9, 2018 at 6:02 p.m.
Updated Jan. 9, 2018 at 6:14 p.m.

Family and friends of Patrick Wise march down Melba Avenue starting at Gladewater MIddle School and ending at the field on East Lake Drive that Weise was shot and killed by Gladewater police. Sunday November 12, 2016 (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

The family of a Gladewater man fatally shot by police in 2016 has filed a federal lawsuit alleging civil rights violations, excessive use of force and wrongful death against the city of Gladewater and the officer involved in the shooting.

Patrick Wise, 34, died shortly after midnight Nov. 5, 2016, near the intersection of East Lake Drive and U.S. 80 after Gladewater police Officer Robert Carlsen tried to make a traffic stop. Carlsen shot Wise after a police chase and fight.

The lawsuit, filed in the Eastern District of Texas, seeks a jury trial and lists the city of Gladewater and Carlsen as defendants.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are the estate of Wise; Wise's father, Ed Wise; Laura Ramsey, Melanie Goodsen and Emelie Jackson, mothers of Wise's six minor children; and Madilynn Wise, Wise's adult daughter.

Longview attorney L. Charles van Cleef is representing the Wise family.

Van Cleef and Gladewater city officials declined to comment Tuesday on the lawsuit.

An autopsy showed Wise was shot five or six times, with wounds indicated he was facing Carlsen at the time of the shooting.

A Gregg County grand jury declined to bring charges against Carlsen in April.

Gladewater police released video and audio recordings of the incident immediately after the shooting. The recordings showed Wise taunting and threatening Carlsen — and at one point gaining control of the officer's gun — while also showing the pair struggling with each other.

Carlsen at one point during the chase told Wise to stop and discharged his stun gun, missing Wise. After Wise gained control of Carlsen's gun, the audio recording shows Wise telling the officer to "stay down" and to put down his stun gun.

It was not clear from the audio recording what happened immediately after that. The lawsuit states Wise gave the gun back to Carlsen after Carlsen promised not to shoot him.

"He had my Taser; he had my gun!" Carlsen can be heard shouting after the shooting.

At the time of the shooting, Carlsen had been on a 180-day probationary period, personnel records showed. He had been with the Gladewater Police Department for less than two years at the time.

In the lawsuit, Wise's family says Wise and Emelie Jackson were driving when a police vehicle approached and pulled their truck over. When Wise recognized Carlsen was the officer in the vehicle, he drove away.

Jackson, at the time, saw Carlsen running up to the truck yelling and waving a gun and believed he was going to shoot her, the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit also states Carlsen attacked and struggled with Wise, eventually firing his gun 11 times after promising Wise that he would not shoot. The lawsuit states Wise was unarmed at the time, and he was afraid of Carlsen before the shooting.

Carlsen, the lawsuit states, was on probation at the time of the shooting and had displayed "excessive and aggressive tactics" while employed at the Shelby County District Attorney's Office and the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.

Also, the lawsuit states Carlsen "failed to act as a reasonable officer would have acted in the same or similar circumstances and, instead, acted with deliberate indifference and conscious disregard."

The city of Gladewater, the lawsuit states, "failed to provide adequate training to ... Carlsen in the use of deadly force" and did not maintain a practice of training its police force on the use of force and how to deal with suspects.

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