CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — The mother of a man shot dead by a North Carolina police officer while attempting to steal his car said Tuesday that police broke the law after shooting his unarmed son several times. He filed a federal lawsuit alleging that he was called in the incident and then fired again.
Brandon Combs was shot dead in February while he was behind the wheel of his SUV in Concord, his officer Timothy Larson police, according to attorneys.
Virginia Tayala's attorneys filed a complaint Tuesday in Winston-Salem federal court, accusing Larson and the city of Concord of excessive force, assault, assault, wrongful and willful death, and gross negligence. , reported the Charlotte Observer. Attorney Harry Daniels said the complaint seeks "some form of justice for the Combs family." The family also hopes the civil lawsuit will initiate "some criminal charges or indictments" against Larson.
That's why we have a criminal justice system, and that's why we have the rule of law," Daniels said.
The Cabarrus County District Attorney's Office has been investigating Combs' death and has had results from the State Bureau of Investigation since June.
Concord Police said in a statement Tuesday that the agency was aware of the lawsuit and said, "We know people would like to know more about this officer and his actions on February 13. I understand," he said. To protect the integrity of the investigation, police said the agency would not comment further until the district attorney's decision was announced.
Larson, who was later fired from his department, was not available for comment, and his attorney did not immediately respond to an email from the newspaper seeking comment.
Concord police initially said Larson shot Combs following a "physical altercation" at a Hyundai Nissan car dealership where the 29-year-old Gastonia man was trying to steal a truck. But Daniels said Larson's body camera caught the truth.
The video has not been released, but Daniels and other family lawyers have seen it. Daniels, who represented the family after Andre Brown was shot dead by lawmakers in the city of Elizabeth last year, called the Combs footage one of the worst police shooting videos he's ever seen. 37} According to the lawsuit, when Combs got behind the wheel of Larson's patrol car, Larson fired five shots through the windshield of the non-moving vehicle. He called the division dispatcher to fire, then fired again.
Larson did not go to Combs' aid, the lawsuit alleges. Larson, 27, later told other officers at the scene that he shot Combs trying to steal his SUV.
Larson said he was fired in May, according to documents the paper received from a request for public records. Chief Gary Gasek called Larson disobedient in his dismissal letter for refusing to answer post-shooting questions and giving misleading or untrue answers on other occasions. .