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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The state Court of Appeals says a lawsuit filed by a college student killed by a sheriff’s deputy against UNCW can move forward.

Peyton Strickland was shot and killed by a deputy helping serve a search warrant for UNCW Police at Strickland’s Wilmington home in December 2006.

Read the Court of Appeal’s decision

Strickland’s family sued the school for wrongful death because they said campus police used false information about Strickland and the level of danger officers may encounter at his home.

In a decision released today, the appeals court ruled the university is not protected by the public duty doctrine, which allows the lawsuit to proceed.

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21 Comments on "Court: Strickland family’s lawsuit against UNCW can move forward"

No One
2015 years 10 months ago

Uhh Ohhh……..can we say “Settlement”……..consider the betting pool open…….my guess is UNCW pays the family just over 2 mill to shut up, in which they will…..and the family lives happily ever after (said with a sarcastic tone)

2015 years 10 months ago

The family just can’t accept the fact that their little boy was nothing more than a punk thug thief. He was a willing participant in an armed robbery and had pictures of him and his ‘homies’ posing with guns posted on the Internet.

2015 years 10 months ago

on Payton and just because you pose with guns on facebook or the like does not prove anything. There are thousands of pictures on there of people posing with guns and as far as I know a picture with a gun is NOT illegal. Red Jacket Firearms in Louisiannia has pictures of them with machine guns, etc does this make them thugs? The Sheriff Dept had to pay up and fired the cop that killed him so who is right here. SOORY YOU LOSE…

2015 years 10 months ago

Agreed, he was a punk, but he did not deserve to die. He was coming to answer the door when a poorly trained wannabe cop with an itchy trigger finger killed him.

2015 years 10 months ago

When you’re a thief and robber, getting shot by the police is simply a risk you take. Had they simply followed instructions and opened the door for ERT, little ol’ Peyton could be out robbing people right now.

2015 years 10 months ago

through the door as he was coming to it by a chickens++t cop that was later fired for his screw up. They even shot his dog that was reacting to the noise at the door and the dog never even had a memorial service like the so called officer dog in Brunswick county.
If they had him dead to rights as you seem to think why did New Hanover County Sheriff have to pay the family? UNCW will pay also and I hope Payton’s family gets as much as they can.
Like a previous poster said he was going to Cape Fear Tech they could have gotten him there with no fuss and no muss, the SWAT thugs just had to find someone to screw with and they got the wrong one.

2015 years 10 months ago

Hope the family never settles. I want all the members of law enforcement that were involved to be put under oath. Regardless of whether the kid was one of the robbers, the keystone cops turned it into a cluster^%$&. They could have just nicely grabbed him out of his classroom or the hallway at CFCC, but they all wanted to be a bunch of Bill BadA–ses and they didn’t even come within miles of following their own SOP regarding use of their SWAT teams. I want them under oath.

Grand Ole Party
2015 years 10 months ago

“You want them under oath”
What makes you think that anyone cares what you want? You remember the old saying “Want in one hand and &^%$ in the other, see which one fills up first” Kinda applies here don’t ya think?

2015 years 10 months ago

Are these people for real? Their son ROBBED somebody. As a result of the robbery, and his pics in gangster poses, he was a threat to the police. I can say thank you to the officers who took care of business. They did their job to protect us from a dirty criminal. Stop trying to run UNCW and the NHCSO through the mud. They did nothing wrong, YOUR SON DID.

keywest 2323
2015 years 10 months ago

don’t need help to run themselves through the mud, they are good at it.

What makes a Bad Cop? Two things leap right out front in the personality profile of a Bad Cop: Arrogance and Authoritarianism. (See the absolutely classic JPFO essay by Gus Cotey)

A bad cop relishes the slap of the pistol against his or her leg (fair enough). However, at the same time, the Bad Cop feeds his or her ego upon the glances of fear, or the glances of respect, from an unarmed citizenry.

These Bad Cops secretly lust to openly lord over the rest of us. They are Storm Troopers in waiting. Bottom line: They want all the rest of us disarmed.

You can tell a Bad Cop by asking them one simple question: “Are you for ‘gun control’?” Listen to their answer carefully. Be very aware of the words “reasonable” or “sensible” in reference to citizen disarmament. Back in Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia, these were the types who took quite well to the trench coats, pompous caps, and knee high jack boots … and ended up “just following orders”.

Some of the Bad Cops, especially if they are in the law enforcement command hierarchy, have always been arrogant elitists. These power addicts are often the “top cops” that you find parading up on the stage to call for more “gun control” whenever there is a high profile shooting.

I’m not going to mince words: These men and women are dangerous, treasonous vermin. They took an oath to defend the Constitution, and they now desecrate that oath with every breath they take. Sheriff Dupnik of Arizona is a blatant, slithering example. Take a look at his comment in a recent interview.

Be aware of the police around you. If you have a cop living on your street, you must know upon which side of the fence he or she sits. It’s time to point blank (can I say that, Sheriff Dupnik?) ask him or her what his or her views on “gun control” actually are.

If a retired cop lives on your street? Find out the same thing. A very small percentage of retired cops harbor a deep anger, a passive aggressive, manipulative side. They are now disarmed. They are now just like the rest of us. This truly irks the authoritarian passive aggressive mentality.

Litmus test for retired cops: The closet authoritarian type will also mention “reasonable gun control” and “sensible gun control”. They will never acknowledge “shall not be infringed” (which was a key part of their oath). They’ll always have a “yes… but” right at hand.

Beware of this kind. At their core they are smiling back stabbers. They’ll say “times have changed” or “it’s a new world” or they’ll preface things with “realistically speaking”.

Neighborhood snitches and “knock on the door in the middle of the night” goon squads are often recruited from this disenchanted population pool.

2015 years 10 months ago

What a shame this story won’t go away…what a shame that this story was never about a victim of robbery, but was always about $$$$$$$$$$$$$. Instead of courts supporting victims they turn punks into martyrs. And irresponsible parents never accept that their little baby could be responsible for his own fate because they are blinded by financial opportunities.

2015 years 10 months ago

But Red Jacket Firearms also doesn’t commit armed robbery. The pictures were some of the basis that there was a potential for an armed response at the house. No, you lose because you defend criminals.

2015 years 10 months ago

Do you just skip over the parts you don’t want to read?

“UNC-W campus police gave WPD false information about Strickland and the level of danger officers may encounter at his home.” It’s no wonder WPD went there on high alert. They had what they saw as a creditable source.

But, the ultimate blame lays with Peyton himself, who chose to commit a crime and put his own life in danger.

2015 years 10 months ago


Video: Canton officer under investigation after concealed carry arrestZoom Photos
Ohioans for Concealed Carry
This is an image from a video posted on YouTube by Ohioans for Concealed Carry. The video is from a Canton Police Department dashcam of an arrest involving a citizen licensed to carry a concealed weapon.

CANTON —Patrolman Daniel Harless raged at the man in handcuffs.

WARNING: This video was obtained through a public records request. It contains harsh language and may be considered offensive to some viewers.

Minutes earlier, William E. Bartlett had told police he had a license to carry a concealed gun and was armed.

“As soon as I felt your gun I should have took two steps back, pulled my Glock 40 and just put 10 bullets in your ass and let you drop. And I wouldn’t have lost any sleep,” Harless shouted. “Do you understand me?”

“Yes, sir, I do,” replied Bartlett, still sounding calm.

The dashboard camera in the patrolman’s cruiser recorded the June 8 traffic stop, and the video went viral Thursday after being posted on the website of Ohioans For Concealed Carry and YouTube.

“I think it’s important for citizens to understand that the behavior demonstrated on the video is wholly unacceptable, and it violates many of our rules, our regulations and standards we demand of our officers,” Police Chief Dean McKimm said in response.

Harless, a 14-year department veteran, is under investigation, and was placed on paid administrative leave June 20, according to his personnel file.

He has been on sick leave since Monday, and the results of the internal affairs investigation will be presented at a disciplinary hearing, the chief said.

“The city administration, in conjunction with the police department, recognizes the seriousness of this matter,” McKimm said.


Harless and his partner, patrolman Mark Diels, were working northwest Canton on June 8 when they spotted Bartlett’s gold Pontiac stopped in the 100 block of Newton Avenue NW around 1:38 a.m.

The area is known for prostitution and drug trafficking. A woman was standing outside Bartlett’s car. A third person was in the back seat.

The police ordered the rear passenger to get out and place his hands on the car roof. Harless questioned the man and the woman while Diels climbed in the rear seat. Bartlett sat quietly behind the wheel, according to an enhanced audio version of the recording posted by the gun group.

The Repository obtained from the police department a copy of the recording that was not enhanced and could only immediately verify some audio of the exchange between Harless and Bartlett.

Some four minutes after pulling up to Bartlett’s car, Harless talked to him.

“I have a carry…,” Bartlett said before Harless cut him off, asking for his license. Bartlett then tried to explain why he was in the neighborhood and Harless ordered him out of the car, according to the enhanced recording.

Bartlett got out, holding a card in his hand.

“Why do you keep having that? What is that?” Harless asked.

“Because I have a concealed carry,” Bartlett said.

“You have a weapon on you?”

“Yes, sir.”

Bartlett had a .38-caliber Ruger pistol, according to court papers. The officers handcuffed him and put him in the cruiser.

Harless went off.

“I’m so close to caving in your (expletive) head…You (expletive) with me…You’re just a stupid human being,” he shouted at Bartlett, according to both versions of the video.

“Yes, sir,” Bartlett said.

“(Expletive) talking to me with a (expletive) gun. You want me to pull mine and stick it to your head?”

“No, sir. No, sir.”

“People like you don’t deserve to (expletive) move throughout public. Period. Stupid idiot.”

Later, Harless told Bartlett that he should have executed him for being stupid, and threatened to stop Bartlett every time he sees him, tow his car and take him to jail.

Bartlett, 52, of Brewster, is contesting the charges against him, carrying a concealed weapon for allegedly failing to notify police about the weapon and a traffic offense for stopping in the roadway. Both charges are misdemeanors.

The case is pending in Municipal Court with a jury trial scheduled for next month.

Efforts were made to contact Harless and Diels.


Bartlett wasn’t home when a reporter stopped Thursday. A call seeking comment was left for his attorney.

Ohioans for Concealed Carry is raising money for Bartlett’s defense and using the video in its effort to repeal the law that requires license holders to promptly notify police that they have a weapon.

The requirement is vague and arbitrary, the activist group argues.

“As you start implementing it, it gets real unreasonable, real fast,” said Doug Deeken, a coordinator for the group.


Harless, 45, an Ohio native and former Marine worked as a police officer in Virginia for four years before coming to Canton in 1996.

During his career he has earned several commendations.

One was from a Virginia judge, who praised the way Harless handled a situation involving a man with a gun, according to records in his city personnel file.

Canton’s internal affairs unit has investigated 16 COMPLAINTS involving Harless dating back to 2000.

He was reprimanded in one 2003 case. Harless and another officer were exonerated of using excessive force, but were given a letter of reprimand for not activating the in-car video camera at the scene per department policy.


Bill Adams, president of the Canton Police Patrolmen’s Association, has watched the video of the June incident.

“Obviously whatever transpired on that video is an isolated incident,” Adams said. “It happened and it’s being handled properly right now and the chief is doing what he feels is necessary.”

Adams said calls involving guns can be emotional and dangerous situations, but he wasn’t condoning anything that might have happened on the recording.

“We’re a very well-trained and well-rounded police department that has solid officers that can make good, solid decisions every day,” he said. “You can’t (take) one incident like this and make it like every (officer) is out of control.”

2015 years 10 months ago

No, I did not. NHCS paid because Long made a serious error. My point, however, is that were Strickland not a punk, thug, violent robber, (or whatever you want to call him) the ERT would not have even been there.

Second point, had they opened the door immediately, there would have been no reason to use the battering ram that spooked Long.

As far as arresting him at Cape Fear, you do not arrest a suspect AWAY from the location for which you also have search warrants. That’s common sense….and they WERE serving search warrants as well. You bust Strickland downtown, one of his compadres calls his roommate and the eveidence is suddenly gone.

Don’t let your predjudice toward law enforcement officers switch your brain into neutral, Sailboat. Unless you have served warrants, you have no idea what is involved in the planning and execution.

Guest CommonTater
2015 years 10 months ago

led to his demise…. its really as simple as that. No matter how you want to slice it, whether the cop was wrong or not Strickland is dead and he started the chain of events that led to it.

2015 years 10 months ago

the Father is a well known Triangle area attorney, and the Family previously set up some type of scholarship at CFCC in the deceased’s name & memory, does this mean all of the proceeds will be deposited in the scholarship fund?

2015 years 10 months ago

This murder was wrong. In 2008, Sid Causey apologized and said this was wrong. The Sheriff’s Dept. settled with a payout of $2,450,000 to the Strickland family. Chris Long was fired and cleared of wrong doing by a grand jury. What an incredible show of mercy, but at the same time, I doubt Mr. Long would intentionally murder. Everyone involved has suffered a blow. The sheriff’s department was opened up to an investigation as well. These are the facts, and the Strickland family has been given the all clear to go after the source of the supposed exaggeration which led to Mr. Long’s behavior, the UNCW police Dept.’s supposed intel on the subject supposedly communicated to the Sheriff’s Department. My hope is that we do continue to follow where the case and where the settlement money goes. Also, a good report would look into the actual behavior and actions of Peyton Strickland and educate college students and others his age of the potential recourse of similar behavior, whether the recourse is intentional or accidental.


2015 years 10 months ago

You have passed the “one trick pony” stage and are verging on neurotic obsession.

2015 years 10 months ago

I’m thinking maybe he wasn’t hugged enough as a child.

2015 years 10 months ago

anyone cares what you say??? Grand Ole Party my butt..


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