Family suing city after former officer struck, killed woman

by: Tom Jones Updated:


ATLANTA - The family of a woman killed when she was hit by an officer said it had no choice but to file a lawsuit in the case.

Jackie Culp, 59, died when Fulton County police said Atlanta Police Officer Joshua Sieck drove through the intersection of Cascade and Fairburn roads and struck Culp's car in July 2012.

Culp's husband, Ralph Culp, told Channel 2's Tom Jones it's been nearly eight month since he lost his wife.

He said city attorneys have refused to negotiate with his lawyers on a financial settlement. It's why he is asking the mayor to step in.

"Mayor Reed. I believe that you are a good man. I voted for you on a number of occasions. It is past time for you to step up and do the right thing. I just think that is just fair," Culp said.

Culp's attorney, Harold Spence, said the city has been unwilling to even talk about the case.

Spence said the city is playing a game of "City Hall Two-Step."

"We'll get back to you, we're still looking into this, we're still investigating it," Spence said.

But the city attorney's office said it's not as simple as that.

Cathy Hampton with the city attorney's office sent a statement explaining the city's position, saying, "The City of Atlanta continues to investigate the claim of Ralph Culp, whose wife Jackie Culp, died last July after a collision involving an Atlanta Police officer.

"The Fulton County Police Department is handling the ongoing criminal investigation. The Law Department has been in contact with Mr. Culp's lawyers and explained that the claim must be thoroughly investigated prior to any settlement discussions. No lawsuit has been served on the city at this time."

The Culps point out that police fired Sieck days after the incident and the Fulton County Police Department charged him with second-degree vehicular homicide.

The family said the delay is adding to its pain.

"They admit wrongdoing on his part. That he was in the wrong," daughter, Ebonee Culp explained.

"Let's just go ahead and get this thing resolved," Culp's son, Jamal Robinson, said.

Ralph Culp said the last thing he wants to do is sue the city he loves.

"If this is what it takes to get the city of Atlanta's attention then that's what we have to do," Ralph Culp said.