KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The sister of a Knoxville man killed by police four years ago is in court suing the officer involved in her brother’s death.
Channara “Philly” Pheap was killed in 2019. A Knoxville Police officer was responding to a hit-and-run and encountered Pheap. That’s when an altercation turned physical. The officer said Pheap was able to gain control of the officer’s stun gun.
The officer claimed he shot Pheap after he felt what he said was “electricity coursing through his body.” Plaintiffs said that Pheap died of a gunshot to the back and therefore he did not “pose an immediate threat to the officer,” according to the lawsuit.
Sophia Pheap, representing the Pheap estate, has taken officer Dylan Williams to court in a civil trial at the federal court in Greeneville, Tenn. She argues he used excessive force and violated Pheap’s civil rights.
No charges were ever filed and previous lawsuits against the department have been dismissed. Pheap’s death prompted a rally and march and renewed the discussion over having KPD officers wear body cameras.
Editors note: This story has been updated