An incident involving the police and a minor resulted in the death of a 17 year old victim in Longview, Texas.
Teenage girl with mental health issues is shot minutes after entering a police station
The video recording of the moments before her death was about 24 minutes long, but it did not capture any audio. Police claim that when the girl went into the station, she did not articulate what she needed, and an officer was dispatched to provide assistance. When the officer approaches her, they are seen talking briefly, then she backs away and the officer moves closer and starts trying to grab her arm. Police claim she had written the words “I have a gun” on her hand and showed it to the officer, which prompted his response.
At two different times during the following minutes, the officer appears to have the girl pinned down, but she is able to break free and get away. They claimed that she was trying to remove a large butcher knife from her waistband at this time. Other officers arrived on the scene, and within seconds one of them discharges several shots after the others had drawn their tasers. The victim appeared to be running away from the officers towards a corner of the room when she was killed. She was hit by five total shots from two of the officers. Enough rounds were discharged that the video cameras captured a noticeable amount of smoke filling the room.
None of the officers on the scene attempted to render aid, and her body was lying on the ground until paramedics arrived at the station.
The police formally released the video of the incident and held a press conference to discuss the situation with a public audience. This was only done after several days of controversy and people asking questions about what happened. The local chief defended their use force, and simply said that they did not have the time to utilize other measures to diffuse the situation. The victim’s parents claim that she had a history of suicide attempts and mental health issues.
Reviewing police action
Cases where police use deadly force are reviewed on a case by case basis. It would be difficult for a judge or a jury to consider a young girl to be enough of a threat to multiple officers that she needed to be killed. The parents of this victim of police misconduct will likely have more than enough evidence to file a civil lawsuit against the department.
Get assistance after an interaction with the police goes wrong
Lawyers who handle cases against the police are available in Longview and nearby parts of Texas. Contact the Cooper Law Firm to receive more information about filing a lawsuit and receiving compensation for your injuries.