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The family of a mentally ill Black man who was shot and killed by police in March filed a lawsuit that alleged officers knew about his mental condition and should have de-escalated the confrontation.

Jontell Reedom’s mother, Anyka Harris, filed the suit on Aug. 22 in federal court, naming the city of Tulare, California, its police department and the officers who killed her son as the defendants, the Fresno Bee reported.

The lawsuit underscored that Reedom, 27, was unarmed “and did not pose any immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury to anyone at the time of the shooting.” The wrongful death suit accused the defendants of excessive force, negligence and inadequate police training.

The officers were responding to a 911 call of an assault of a bus driver on March 12 when they encountered Reedom, the police said. When the former high school football star resisted, one of the officer used a Taser on him, but Reedom fought back.

Officers opened fire, hitting Reedom several times. He died from a gunshot wound to his head, according to the death certificate. The officers failed to treat him immediately or call medical personnel, the suit alleged.

Reedom had reportedly been diagnosed with schizophrenia. His mental health declined over the past year after the death of his grandmother, Harris told YourCentralValley.com. There were widespread protests after the shooting, and some demonstrators held signs protesting police shooting of mentally ill suspects.

The Tulare police declined an offer from the Bee to comment on the lawsuit. However, the department defended the cops after the shooting, claiming it was justified because Reedom took the officer’s baton during the encounter.

40 Black Men & Youths Who Were Killed By Police
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Police Knew Unarmed Man Was Mentally Ill Before Shooting him, Lawsuit Says was originally published on newsone.com

8 thoughts on “Police Knew Unarmed Man Was Mentally Ill Before Shooting him, Lawsuit Says

  1. African American Woman on said:

    Why call the police if you don’t trust them? If she wasn’t afraid of her son, why didn’t she deal with him?

  2. It is OPEN SEASON on African American males across this UGLY country.
    It does NOT SEEM TO MATTER IF ONE IS MENTALLY ILL OR WHATEVER.

    ALL THE PIGS SEE IS A BROWN FACE!!!!!!

  3. :dcbrother4u on said:

    She should file a lawsuit because it is a wrongful death and naturally they will defend the shooting. Its only a roll of the dice whether she will get anything, but go for it anyway. It is a bunch of BS about complying with a lawful order b/c you can still be taken down regardless if you did or not.

    • Mac Daddy on said:

      Watch the video you punk azz. He is responsible for his own death. Colored folk need to #WalkAway from the victim mentality

    • This was not a “wrongful death.” We’ll never know whether or not he would have been taken down if he had complied with the officer’s commands because he fought them, tooth and nail, even after being tased and pepper sprayed. Mentally retarded or not, he couldn’t be allowed to just walk away to wreak more havoc. The officers did exactly what they were supposed to do. If the family felt he could be de-escalated, they would have done it themselves.

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