Crime

New Orleans police killed father of man suspected in slaying of Will Smith

RAMON ANTONIO VARGAS and JOHN SIMERMAN

The New Orleans Advocate

Cordell Hayes
Cordell Hayes

Cardell Hayes, the suspect in former Saints Pro Bowler Will Smith's fatal shooting late Saturday, filed a high-profile lawsuit against the city of New Orleans after police officers killed his father in a December 2005 incident, his ex-attorney confirmed Sunday.

One of the defendants mentioned in that lawsuit had dined with Smith shortly before the former football pro was killed.

Hayes' father, Anthony, was mentally unstable and had gotten into an argument with an employee at a St. Charles Avenue pharmacy while holding a pocket knife when officers shot and killed him, officials said. Hayes, now 28, sued for damages, alleging that officers should have used non-lethal force -- such as a stun gun -- to subdue his father, but none of the cops had such a tool.

The litigation was settled in 2011 for an undisclosed amount of money that could be described as "large," said attorney Ike Spears, who represented Hayes in that matter but is not involved in the Smith case.

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