A resident of Tennessee called the police to save her husband from suicide: the cops shot a man
In Collierville, Tennessee, the widow of a man who was shot dead by police outside his home in the summer of 2019 filed a lawsuit against the city and one of the police. Writes about it WMCActionNews5.
The lawsuit was initially filed with the state court, but then submitted to the federal court at the request of the defendants.
Alice Hoal, who filed the lawsuit, says Collierville police violated her husband’s civil rights and used excessive force.
On June 3, 2019, police at Collierville reacted to the call and arrived at Valleywood Cove's home, where suicide could have occurred.
When the officers arrived at the place of the call, they found 59-year-old David Hoal in the backyard of his house.
“After repeatedly demanding that the man drop his gun, for reasons that are still being investigated, one of the officers opened fire and killed the man,” said Keli McAlister, a spokesman for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI).
Shelby County Attorney Amy Weirich asked TBI to investigate the incident.
“Mrs. Hoal called 911 to inform them that her husband was depressed and had mental health problems. He was not on medication. She also said that David took the gun and said he wanted to commit suicide, - explained the widow's lawyer Jeffrey Rosenblum. "She never mentioned that she feared for her life."
Alice says her husband has never been a threat to anyone but himself.
But in her lawsuit, she pointed out that Collierville police officer Austin Wagsckack quickly shot her husband “without visible provocation” and did not give him enough time to obey the order.
“It's been less than four seconds since the officer started shouting, 'Drop the gun! Drop the gun! ”And until the moment when he fired,” the lawyer said.
“The man was in the backyard of his house. He wanted to commit suicide. He needed help, but instead he was killed, - stated Rosenblum. "We saw our police officers in action again."
The plaintiff's lawyer said the police were called into the house the night before the shooting, but the police left when they determined that Mr. Hoal was not in danger.
Rosenblum explains that the past year has been very difficult for his client. A lawyer says recent protests against police brutality have influenced her.
“She sees what happened to her own husband and she fears it will continue until people like her tell the story,” Rosenblum said.
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But lawyer Edward McKenney, representing the city of Collierville and a police officer, claims that the policeman feared for the safety of everyone, including Mrs. Hoal.
“He viewed Mr. Hoal as an imminent threat to her safety and the safety of himself and the other officers, and he had to make a decision in a split second,” McKenny explained.
He said that Hoal had a weapon in a position where it might take him a millisecond to shoot his wife or officers.
The defendant's lawyer assures that the officer who remained to work in the police had no choice.
“No one says that Officer Wingespack woke up that day with a desire to shoot someone,” McKenny explained. “This is the last thing he or any other Collierville officer wants to do. But he understood that he had no choice in the circumstances. The police want to protect our residents - that's what he was doing that day. "
Makalister stated that TBI completed the investigation and relayed its findings to Weirich in early 2020.
Rosenblum says there is an audio recording that captures Wingespack who seems to have admitted to another officer that Hoal’s weapons were not aimed at him when he fired his weapons.
McKenny said there is a tape in which his client made a specific comment, but that comment is not entirely clear.
“You can't take one comment out of context and rely on it,” McKenny said.
Rosenblum says the audio and other files are now in the possession of Weirich's office, and the case is still pending.
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