The parents of an 8-year-old girl, Secoriea Turner, sued a slew of Atlanta municipal officials for carelessness after their daughter was tragically killed near the spot where police shot black man Rayshard Brooks last year.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant, City Councilmember Joyce Sheperd, Wendy’s, and the firm that owns the site where the restaurant is located were denounced by Turner’s parents, Charmaine Turner and Secoriey Williamson.
“We deserve justice. Someone needs to be held accountable,” Turner’s mother said during a news conference Monday, June 7.
On July 4, 2020, when the SUV that Turner was riding in with her mother and friend was fired upon by a handful of persons in a mob protesting at a Wendy’s parking lot, Turner was shot and killed. Wendy’s parking lot was also the place where Brooks had been shot dead by police on June 12.
Brooks’ death caused rioting, demonstrations, and looting, with people torching the burger joint and occupying the neighborhood around the wreckage.
The city permitted the area to remain open despite the presence of a high level of violence in the region and refused to defend the community, according to the lawyers of Turner’s parents.
“The mayor, the city council and the police department are specifically making the decision not to have law enforcement at a certain location,” claimed lawyer Shean Williams.
According to Turner’s parents’ lawsuit, the SUV reached a temporary roadblock at the site on Independence Day in 2020, and gunmen fired into the car.
According to law enforcement, many people were engaged in the shooting, but only Julian Conley, 20, was charged with felony murder and extreme violence after turning himself in. According to his lawyer, Conley was armed and quietly demonstrating at the time and saw the gunshot but did not initiate the shots.
According to Charmaine Turner and Secoriey Williamson’s lawsuit, city administrators were irresponsible in failing to dismiss vigilantes with weapons who had congregated amid nonviolent protestors.
Even though two earlier shootings in the neighborhood, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms permitted City Council member Joyce Sheperd, who is also implicated in the case, to keep negotiating with demonstrators, the lawsuit said.
Rodney Bryant, the Atlanta Police Chief, was also named in the lawsuit. Officers were advised to respond to victims of assault but “not be overly proactive in any shape, form, or fashion,” according to a June 17 police department email included in the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, Wendy’s International and the corporation that possessed the property where Wendy’s was situated failed to ensure safety and security on the premises.
The complaint requested for a jury trial and for the court to decide the amount of monetary damages.
On June 12, 2020, after allegedly failing a sobriety test by the officers, Brooks was seen resisting arrest and running off with one of the police Tasers in his hand. The two officers chased him, and he briefly turned to aim the taser at the police.
Officer Garrett Rolfe, who shot Brooks twice in the back, is facing 11 charges, including felony murder, which can lead to the death penalty.