Family of unarmed man killed by Anne Arundel police files federal civil rights lawsuit

The family of a 20-year-old man who was shot and killed by Anne Arundel Police in January is filing a federal civil rights lawsuit against the officers who were involved in the shooting. 

After several months of waiting for answers from state and local agencies, DJ’s family is now seeking answers and justice for themselves.

The family and their attorney plan to hold a press conference on Monday, August 15, the same day they are set to file a seven-count complaint in the United States District Court of Maryland against the Anne Arundel County police for violating DJ’s federally protected constitutional rights and for his wrongful death.

On January 31, three Anne Arundel County police officers were dispatched to the Quarles’ residence in response to a 911 call from DJ’s mother, Mikel Quarles, who was concerned about her son’s safety.

Upon arriving at the home, the officers drew their guns and went up the stairs toward the main bedroom where they believed DJ and Mikel were situated.

According to the suit, officers were informed that DJ was unarmed, but they continued to point their guns at him. Within a few minutes, officer J. Ricci fired his weapon at DJ multiple times killing him in his home.

Maryland Attorney General’s Office and Maryland State Police investigated the shooting. 

Body camera video released over a month after the incident showed DJ punching a police officer in the face and biting his finger before he was fatally shot.

As officers handcuff Quarles, the video shows him struggle, then bite Ricci and another officer deploys a stun gun.

"Shoot him! Shoot him!" Ricci said, and he is seen firing with one hand stuck in Quarles’ mouth. Other officers can be heard telling Ricci to put his gun down and to breathe before he’s seen crawling away and falling to the ground. Ricci was taken to a trauma center in serious condition, officials said. 

He suffered a "traumatic brain injury and injuries to his face," according to the attorney general’s office.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.