Cleveland officer shot on duty sues department, former partner

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A Cleveland police officer has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city, the police chief and her former partner.

Officer Jennifer Kilnapp got shot and wounded on a call in 2020, and the lawsuit says her partner, Bailey Gannon, fired the shot that wounded her. And, the suit says Gannon was a rookie, and he received no discipline for it.

Attorney Matthew D. Besser released a statement, saying: “Any gun user knows one of the most basic rules of gun safety is that you never point a gun at someone without knowing who might be in the line of fire. By choosing to ignore that basic gun-safety rule, Gannon caused devastating consequences. Unfortunately, his conduct reflects CDP’s (Cleveland Police Department’s) ongoing culture of excessive force and its longstanding failure to adequately train rookies on the appropriate use-of-force.”

Back in 2020, the WJW revealed police body camera video from the incident. Kilnapp and her partner went to a home and searched for a man suspected of threatening a woman. Gunfire erupted as police found the man hiding upstairs in a bathroom.

But, attorney Besser says officer Gannon “panicked” and began “firing blindly”, and one of his shots hit officer Kilnapp. Besser added, the shot hit her in the forearm, then fragmented into her bicep and chest.

The lawyer says officer Gannon fired first, and then the suspect fired.

Darryl Borden ended up indicted in Cuyahoga County Court for attempted murder and more. And, he also faced weapons charges in federal court.

In County Court, the attempted murder charge was dropped, and Borden struck a plea deal to attempted felonious assault. He received a sentence of seven to 10 years in prison.

And, in federal court, he received another four years and nine months in prison for having a gun as a felon.

We have reached out to the city and Cleveland Police for comment. The city, generally, does not comment on pending lawsuits.

Kilnapp’s attorney says she remains off the job on disability suffering from nerve damage and mental health issues tied to what happened.

While she was shot on duty, WJW also reported Kilnapp was punished by the Cleveland Police Department for not turning on her body camera as she and her partner went to that call.

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