BANGOR (AP) – A Massachusetts man is seeking more than $1 million in damages from Maine and Lincoln County officials in a lawsuit stemming from the shooting of his brother by police two years ago.

Daniel Buchanan’s wrongful death lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, says the state failed to provide crisis intervention services Michael Buchanan needed and deserved at the time of his shooting by police on Feb. 25, 2002.

The suit also says two Lincoln County sheriff’s deputies “acted with reckless indifference” to the constitutional rights of Buchanan by neglecting to summon a crisis intervention team when they were called to the 61-year-old man’s home, where he had barricaded himself.

Buchanan suffered from bipolar disorder with psychosis, according to the lawsuit filed by his brother, a resident of Hamilton, Mass.

Michael Buchanan was shot by Deputy Kenneth Hatch after police were called to his Somerville home to investigate a complaint that Buchanan had started a fire in a neighbor’s woodpile.

Buchanan ordered them off his property and threatened to kill them, and the deputies entered the home intending to take Buchanan into protective custody, according to a report by Attorney General Steven Rowe in March 2002.

Rowe’s report concluded that Hatch was legally justified in the shooting because Hatch believed that unlawful deadly force was being used against his partner, Deputy Robert Emerson, when Buchanan attacked Emerson with a knife.

Daniel Buchanan’s lawsuit says his brother was entitled to 24-7 crisis intervention services because he was part of a class action case brought against the state by patients at the Augusta Mental Health Institute, Maine’s psychiatric hospital.

State officials said Friday they had not read the lawsuit and had no response. A message left with the attorney general’s office Monday was not immediately returned.

AP-ES-03-01-04 1510EST



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