August 20, 2022
Pocatello, ID–On July 22, 2022, Jake Sheeler, formerly of Pocatello, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Idaho, stemming from a 2020 incident in which Sheeler was shot by officers of the Pocatello Police Department. Named defendants include the City of Pocatello, Pocatello Police Chief Roger Schei, and the officers involved in the incident. The complaint alleges a variety of violations of the 4th and 14th Amendments of the United States Constitution, as well as Negligence under Idaho Code 6-903, and requests over $13.3 million dollars in damages.
According to media reports from the time of the incident, a man believed to be Jake Sheeler stole a firearm from a home located on the east side of Pocatello during the afternoon of September 25, 2020. Several hours later, a man believed to be the suspect was spotted walking in a field near the Red Lion hotel and Outback Golf Park. Police quickly responded to the scene; during the process of apprehending the suspect, he was shot and wounded by police officers.
Within days of the shooting, Police Chief Roger Schei informed local media that Sheeler had not been shot in the back while running from police, and that it was unknown whether or not Sheeler was armed during the incident. However, family members reported that Sheeler was unarmed and that he was, in fact, shot in the back. Further, they stated that Sheeler was paralyzed by his wounds.
Both the City and the Police Department were asked to comment on this case; so far, neither has responded to the request.