Family Of Tyre King Says Lawsuit Against Columbus Officer Must Continue
Lawyers for the family of Tyre King argue in a new federal court filing that the white Columbus Police officer who fatally shot him does not have legal immunity from claims in a civil rights lawsuit because the shooting wasn't justified.
Columbus officer Bryan Mason shot the 13-year-old King in 2016 while responding to a reported armed robbery. King's family argues his death was the result of excessive force, racial discrimination and alleged failure by the police department to properly investigate and discipline officers for racially motivated or unconstitutional behavior.
The lawsuit, brought by King's grandmother, challenged the police account of what happened, citing witnesses who said that Mason used a racial slur after firing, and that the BB gun King reportedly had wasn’t visible.
Mason has said he feared a “gun fight” and contends he acted reasonably to protect himself and denies directing a slur toward the teens. A Franklin County grand jury decided not to indict Mason on charges.
Mason's lawyers have asked federal Judge Edmund Sargus Jr. to dismiss the case. But the King family's lawsuit says Mason is not immune from civil liability because “he violated Tyre’s constitutional right to be free from unjustified deadly force."