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Family Of BART Officer Killed In The Line Of Duty Files Lawsuit, Alleges Improper Training

DUBLIN (KPIX 5) -- One year after a BART Police officer was killed in the line of duty by his partner, the officer's family has filed a lawsuit, accusing the transit agency of improper police training.

Kellie Smith was an officer at BART for almost 20 years when her husband, Sgt. Tommy Smith, was killed in the line of duty. Smith was shot by Detective Michael Maes when the two were doing a probation search at a Dublin apartment in early 2014.

KPIX 5 interviewed Kellie the day after her husband was killed. Now more than a year later, we are hearing from her again, in the form of a lawsuit filed late Friday against the BART Board and BART Police department. The lawsuit accuses Deputy Police Chief Ben Fairow of ignoring officer's questions for more training of high-risk probation searches.

In a letter personally written to BART, Kellie Smith said, "My husband knew he was not properly trained on building searches."

Smith also recalled a conversation she had with her husband before he died. "My husband said to me, 'if anything happens to me, I want you to sue the **** out of BART and Fairow,'" the widow said in the letter. "My husband's words will stay with me forever."

Maes also a defendant. The lawsuit said he only fired one shot, which the lawsuit said is indicative of a startled response and contrary to police practices and training.

After Smith was killed, BART sent some officers to training on probation searches, but the lawsuit wants every officer trained.

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