The father of an allegedly schizophrenic, suicidal man is suing four Fort Bend County sheriff’s deputies for the death of his son. He claims that in 2013, a family member called 911 and told the dispatcher that his son had locked himself in the bathroom and was contemplating suicide. At the same time, they called a mental health counselor with the hope of obtaining treatment for their son’s paranoid schizophrenia.
When four sheriff’s deputies arrived, the family told them that the individual was off his medication and was depressed and agitated but had no history of violence. According to family members, the deputies indicated that they understood the man was mentally ill but did not pose a threat to others.
The deputies asked the family to go outside, but according to the complaint they did not know that someone had set up an iPhone to record the encounter. The complaint alleges that the video shows that one deputy knocked on the bathroom door nicely and asked the man to come out. Within 30 seconds, the deputy’s tone changed and he started demanding the man come out, banging on the door, and he told the other deputies the man had a knife. He then kicked the door open and shouted at the mentally ill man to get down. The mentally ill man was standing in the bathtub in the video with no weapon in his hand. The deputy shot the man with a Taser, and he finally ended up sitting in the bathtub.
The man later stood up as he was being shot with a Taser, and the deputy shot him 11 times with his gun from six feet away. The mentally ill man allegedly never charged the deputy. The complaint is seeking damages for wrongful death and violations of the man’s civil rights.
Police officers in today’s society have a tough job. In many cases, they must use a great deal of force when apprehending a suspect. However, there are times when police step over the line. When that occurs, the police can be sued for damages, as occurred in this case. If you believe that you or a loved one suffered serious physical injuries due to the wrongful actions of a police officer, call the Houston personal injury attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 855-947-0707. We may be able to help. Call today to schedule a free consultation, or visit us on LinkedIn.