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Mother and daughter killed, family files lawsuit against Dayton Police and the city

Montgomery County courts building in downtown Dayton.
Alejandro Figueroa
/
WYSO
Montgomery County courts building in downtown Dayton.

The family of a 31-year-old woman and her 6-year-old daughter who were both killed this past summer is suing the city of Dayton and its police department.

Aisha Nelson and her daughter Harper Guynn were found shot dead in their house in June.

The night she died, Nelson called the Dayton police. She told two officers who came by her house that her boyfriend, Waverly “Dante” Hawes, had threatened her with a gun and cut up her credit cards.

She asked the officers to remove Hawes from the house, according to the lawsuit.

The officers did not remove Hawes and told Nelson “Where there’s a will there’s a way.” They told Nelson to file a police report the next morning.

Aisha Nelson and her daughter died about an hour after the officers left. Hawes fled the state and was later found dead in his car in Alabama. He had died of a self-inflicted gun wound, according to the lawsuit.

Now her family is suing the city, its commission, the police department and its chief, the two officers and over 10 John and Jane Doe’s for failing to properly process, investigate, handle, and report domestic violence.

The lawsuit, filed in the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, claims the two officers “wantonly, willfully, recklessly, negligently, and in bad faith” disregarded Nelson's pleas. It claims it holds police accountable for the wrongful death of Nelson and her daughter.

In a statement to WYSO, the Dayton Police Department said the it does not comment on pending litigation.

Alejandro Figueroa is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Alejandro Figueroa covers food insecurity and the business of food for WYSO through Report for America — a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Alejandro particularly covers the lack of access to healthy and affordable food in Southwest Ohio communities, and what local government and nonprofits are doing to address it. He also covers rural and urban farming