COBB COUNTY, Ga. — The family of a teen shot and killed by Cobb County police has filed a $150 million lawsuit.
A Cobb County police officer shot Vincent Truitt, 17, in the back during a chase in July 2020.
Truitt’s family told Channel 2′s Michael Seiden that the lawsuit is a step toward justice.
Martin Luther King Jr. “said that ‘out of the mountain of despair, there’s comes a stone of hope.’ As a result of filing this $150 million lawsuit, we hope that it would bring some hope to the family of Vincent Truitt,” said attorney Jackie Patterson.
This was the first comment from attorneys representing Truitt’s family since they filed a record-setting $150 million wrongful death lawsuit against Cobb County and the officer who shot and killed the teen.
“It was important that we filed this $150 million lawsuit because it’s time for justice and accountability in this case,” said attorney Gerald Grigg.
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“My pain starts from the time I open my eyes,” Truitt’s mother Venethia Cook said. “Where in this world do you shoot a teenager in the back twice and get away with it?”
“My shirt says, ‘why did you shoot me?’ Those are the last words of my son,” the victim’s father, Andrae Truitt, said.
According to investigators, Vincent Truitt was a passenger in a stolen car and was involved in a police chase on July 13, 2020.
The pursuit ended off Riverside Parkway near Six Flags when officer Max Karneol shot Truitt twice in the back.
Prosecutors shared a still photo that they said shows Truitt armed with a gun.
The case was presented to a civil grand jury nearly a year ago, but members of the jury decided the officer’s actions were justified.
“Did Vincent do anything proactively to put that officer in reasonable fear of his life? The evidence and the facts would demonstrate that he did not,” attorney Maria Banjo said.
A police department spokesperson told Seiden that they plan to fight the federal lawsuit and defend themselves in court.
The Cobb County District Attorney’s Office sent a statement late Thursday night, saying:
“In order to provide transparency in all officer use of force incidents, our office policy is to present these cases to the grand jury pursuant to OCGA 15-12-71. The death of Mr. Truitt was presented before the grand jury on February 19, 2021. The grand jury returned a presentment finding the incident was lawful and a recommendation of no further action. Our office respects the grand jury process and the recommendation of the grand jury in this matter. The case file has been available to the family, the media and the general public pursuant to the Georgia’s Open Records Act, OCGA 50-18-70 since the day after the grand jury’s recommendation. The transcript of the grand jury proceedings has been available since it was completed and filed by the court reporter. As such, we have no further comment.”
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