AP

Jury rejects lawsuit filed by family of teen killed by cop

Jan 25, 2023, 8:04 PM | Updated: Jan 26, 2023, 12:22 pm

FILE - In this June 22, 2015, file photo provided by the Columbus, Ohio, Division of Police is the division's official portrait of Columbus, Ohio, police officer Bryan Mason. A federal jury on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023, has found that Mason did not violate a Black teenager's civil rights when he shot and killed the boy while responding to a reported armed robbery. (Columbus Division of Police via AP, File)

(Columbus Division of Police via AP, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal jury has found that a white Ohio police officer did not violate a Black teenager’s civil rights when he shot and killed the boy while responding to a reported armed robbery.

Jurors reached their verdict Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by Tyre King’s grandmother. It challenged the police account of the shooting, alleging that the 13-year-old’s death resulted from excessive force, racial discrimination and a failure by the police department to properly investigate and discipline officers for racially motivated or unconstitutional behavior.

Columbus officer Bryan Mason shot King in the head and torso on Sept. 14, 2016, as the teen ran from police and after King reached for what police later discovered was a BB gun in his waistband, authorities have said. The gun, found at the scene, was designed to look like a real firearm and equipped with a laser sight.

The suit also named the city and its police department as defendants, but a federal judge ruled last summer that there is no evidence the city and the police department violated Tyre’s civil rights, meaning they could not be held legally liable.

The family’s lawsuit cited witnesses who said Mason used a racial slur after firing and that the BB gun Tyre reportedly had wasn’t visible.

Mason, who has said he feared a “gunfight,” contended that he acted reasonably to protect himself and denied having directed a slur toward the teens. A grand jury decided not to bring charges against him.

Sean Walton, a lawyer for King’s family, said that they respected the jury’s decision, adding that the panel “was given a hard decision they should have never been faced with.”

But in the statement issued Thursday, Walton also sharply criticized how the city handled the matter, saying officials “used every tool at their disposal to avoid being held accountable for killing a child.” He called on the city “to do what it takes to start protecting the people of this city and stop traumatizing families, witnesses and those who have the courage to speak truth.”

Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein thanked the jury for its efforts.

“It is sad and difficult when any life is cut short, especially that of a 13-year-old like Tyre King. We thank the judge and jury for taking the time to hear and understand the facts of this case, and we respect their decision,” Klein said.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

1 day ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

2 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

2 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

3 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

4 days ago

Juanita Beach Kirkland...

Kathy McCormack and Nick Perry, The Associated Press

‘Tis the season for swimming and bacteria alerts in lakes, rivers

With summer about to start, many people flocking to their favorite swimming holes may also want to read up on bacteria warnings.

5 days ago

Jury rejects lawsuit filed by family of teen killed by cop