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Off-Duty Police Killing Prompts Lawsuit

According to ABC 13 Eyewitness News, a federal lawsuit has been filed on behalf of the family of a disabled man fatally shot by an off-duty police officer in January 2015 in Houston, Texas.

About the Off-Duty Officer-Involved Shooting 

The man fatally wounded on the night of January 16th, 2015 was Phillip Garcia, a 26-year-old who had been previously disabled due to back pain attributed to a drunk driver. The disability prompted him to leave his construction job.

The shooting occurred when Garcia and his friends were celebrating the Rockets win at Bombshells Sports Bar.The off-duty Houston Police department officer responsible was working security at the bar and was responding to a scene caused by two arguing groups being told to leave the bar.

It is alleged that at some point, Garcia brandished a gun but witnesses say his finger was not on the trigger.

Based on data from The Washington Post, Garcia was one of 991 people killed by police officers in 2015. In 2016, that number was 963.

Aftermath of the Shooting of Phillip Garcia

  • The lawsuit filed in federal court on Sunday alleges Garcia’s civil rights were violated and that the officer used excessive force.
  • Garcia’s mother, Sonia Garcia says that while she forgives the police officer who shot her son, she wants answers.
  • President of the police union, Ray Hunt, contends the officer acted properly and that Garcia’s lawyer “makes a living off of suing the city.”
  • A grand jury in Houston previously failed to indict the officer.

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