ATLANTA — Attorneys have filed a lawsuit against the city, city leaders and Wendy’s in the death of an 8-year-old girl killed outside the Wendy’s where Rayshard Brooks was shot.
Secoriea Turner was killed on July 4 after a group of armed men outside the Wendy’s shot into the car she was riding in with her mother and a friend.
Protesters had been occupying the Wendy’s parking lot since Brooks’ death at the hands of police a month before.
Attorneys held a news conference Monday morning to announce the lawsuit.
Secoriea’s father, Secoriey Williamson, said every day without his daughter is a constant painful struggle.
“Our child is supposed to be here with us,” Williamson said. “I had to go to her grave site.”
The lawsuit names the City of Atlanta, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, police chief Rodney Bryant, Atlanta City Councilwoman Joyce Shepherd and Wendy’s.
“So many adults who had power responsibilities, obligations, opportunities to stop this did not,” attorney Shean Williams said.
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The attorneys said it was a lack of leadership and protective action that led Secoriea’s death.
“What’s unique about this situation is that the whole world knew that the Wendy’s was dangerous,” attorney Mawuli Davis said.
Attorneys for the Turner family claimed that armed civilians were allowed to take over a public street without any pushback from police or city officials.
The attorneys also showed a memo they say proves law enforcement was kept from safely restoring order to the area.
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“Essentially saying to officers unless you happen to observe a crime to occur we don’t want you to actively patrol,” Williams said.
Julian Conley, 19, was arrested and charged with felony murder and aggravated assault in the shooting.
Channel 2′s Audrey Washington contacted everyone mentioned in the lawsuit on Monday.
The Atlanta Police Department said it had no comment.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ office sent a statement saying, in part:
“The murder of Secoriea Turner, as a result of senseless gun violence, is a tragedy that no family should have to endure. Due to the anticipated litigation, the city will offer no further comment at this time.”
It was only after the girl’s death that the city did what it was supposed to do, attorneys argue.
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