A Baltimore County police officer shot and killed Korryn Gaines last month while executing an arrest warrant, now her family is filing a wrongful death lawsuit. According to legal documents, family of the 23-year-old plan to sue both the officer and county for $2 million each.

The family is suing for violating “Maryland Declaration of Rights Articles 10, 24, 26 {Suppression of Speech; Excessive Force; Gross Negligence (failure to train and failure to supervise)}; and Wrongful Death and Survival Action and other common law torts.”

One day after the August 1st shooting, Police Chief James Johnson told reporters that Gaines pointed a shotgun at officers as she held her 5-year-old son prompting an officer to fire. Her family and an eyewitness dispute the department’s account of what happened in the seven-hour standoff.

Ramone Coleman, Gaines next door neighbor, says the young mother could be heard requesting a copy of the search warrant. Coleman recalls Gaines telling officers “put your guns down back away from my door and I’ll come out” and
“leave me alone and get the hell away from my house.” Coleman says officers set up surveillance equipment in his home while carrying assault rifles and wearing tactical gear.

Here is an excerpt from the documents:

In order to execute the arrest warrant for failing to appear in court for traffic violations and misdemeanors on Korryn, the special forces from the tactical unit drilled holes in Colman’s living room, bedroom and bathroom walls to monitor the movements of his next door neighbor, Korryn Gaines with surveillance equipment that were connected to tv-like monitors in his apartment so they could watch what was going on in her apartment for different angles. Mr. Coleman stated that he did remember seeing one of the tactical unit police wearing a camera mounted on his helmet.

Police were also there to execute an arrest warrant for Gaines’ boyfriend, who managed to leave the apartment and was later arrested.

Coleman stated that Gaines family members “desperately offered and pleaded to help deescalate the situation” but were instead turned away from police. He claims to have heard an officer say “I’m sick of this s**t” right before shots rang out. The legal documents also say the county’s crisis intervention team was not dispatched to help in the standoff.

Gaines’ son who was also injured in the shooting, spoke about the incident while he was in the hospital. Police say Gaines was on social media at the time of the standoff. The department requested Facebook deactivate her account and delete videos from that day, citing Gaines’ followers pushed her not to comply with officer orders.

In doing so, the family argues the department “suppressed” her free speech under Maryland’s Constitution.

The documents name Officer Ruby, the officer that killed Gaines, noting that Gaines was not his first fatality while on duty. Ruby, a 16-year veteran of the department, killed a man in a similar case back in 2007. According to WBAL, Ruby is one of two officers that fired at Adam Rothstein. Police say the 24-year-old threatened suicide and pointed a handgun at officers. A BB gun was instead found and the department said Rothstein never fired at them.

Click here to read the documents.

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