GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — A lawsuit against a former Greensboro police officer will continue after a judge declined a motion to dismiss it.

The News and Record reported that attorneys for Matthew Hamilton argued that he should have qualified immunity from liability in the fatal 2021 shooting of Joseph Lopez.

Hamilton was fired from Greensboro Police Department and charged with manslaughter after Lopez was shot and killed in November 2021.

The lawsuit alleges that Hamilton used excessive force and that the City of Greensboro failed to properly train, supervise and discipline officers.

Hamilton was indicted by a grand jury in June 2022 after evidence was presented in the case by the SBI. That same day, the Greensboro Police Department confirmed that Hamilton had been fired and he turned himself in that week.

The department also released body camera footage of the incident, showing Lopez in a shed on Cloverdale Road. Hamilton says on camera that he thought he “saw something in Lopez’s hand.”

“I’m not a police officer by any stretch of the imagination or had the training. But just looking at it with my bare eyes, I just think some things maybe should’ve happened differently, and we could’ve come to a different conclusion,” Councilwoman Sharon Hightower said when the video was released.

District Attorney Avery Crump released the following statement at the time of the indictment:


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Officer Matthew Edward Hamilton with the Greensboro Police Department was indicted today in connection in the shooting death of Joseph Thomas Lee Lopez by the Guilford County Greensboro Grand Jury. The shooting occurred on November 19, 2021, at 3504 Cloverdale Drive, Greensboro NC. The matter was investigated and presented to the Grand Jury by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Officer Hamilton was indicted with the crime of Manslaughter pursuant to NCGS 14-18. The indictment means that the Grand Jury found probable cause to support the crime alleged. However, even after an indictment a person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

— District Attorney Avery Crump

The Greensboro Police Officers Association also responded.