A 28-year-old Washington man was awarded $100,000 Thursday by a D.C. Superior Court jury which found that a District policeman acted negligently in a 1972 incident in which the man was shot.
Otha Tillman Lewis, of 2029 1st St. NW had asked for $500,000 in compensation in his suit against the city, filed in August, 1972.
Lewis was cleared of charges of assaulting police officer involved, Robert D. Swygert, in October, 1972.
Swygert shot Lewis once in the chest as the two fought on 1st street NW after Swygert had stopped Lewis' car to check the driver's license and car registration.
George T. Masson Jr., an assistant D.C. corporation counsel, said yesterday that the District is considering an appeal.
Lewis' suit stemmed from an incident in May, 1972, on 1st and V streets NW. According to Lewis, the policeman had told him to go sit in his car while his license and registration were checked.
Lewis said he began walking across the street, away from his car, when the policeman ran at him with a nightstick and the fight ensued. The policeman drew his gun, Lewis said, and the gun went off once, the bullet striking him in the chest. Lewis was hospitalized for about a month.
The jury, which found negligence, did not find that Swygert had acted intentionally.
"I believe he acted out of haste," said Lewis yesterday. "I hope this case will help to curtail the unnecessary harassment, -- stopping people for no good reason -- that goes on just because someone drives a big car, is black and is dressed up to go somewhere."
Masson, the attorney representing the city had argued that Lewis provoked the situation and the shooting was accidental.