Indiana News

Mother of teen shot, killed by police files federal lawsuit

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A Fort Wayne mom is still rallying for justice nearly two years after her 19-year-old son was shot and killed by police. She just took things a step further and filed a federal lawsuit against the city and the police officers involved.

Rose Haney, mother of Tavontae (TJ) Haney, wants the case to go before a federal jury. She says her son’s fourth and fourteenth amendment rights were violated in April of 2013 when Fort Wayne Police officers shot at him 13 times.

“We want justice for my son, TJ,” Haney said.

Nearly two years has passed, and Rose Haney says she still has many unanswered questions.

“We haven’t received any closure to this case. No reports. No police report. No autopsy report. No anything. I need closure for my son.”

Back on April 27, 2013, police pulled over a vehicle that TJ was a passenger in. Both the driver and TJ jumped out of the car, and a foot pursuit with police began. By the end of the chase, TJ was shot up to 13 times and did not have a weapon. According to police, officers claim TJ had a gun. They asked him to drop the weapon. Police say Haney eventually aimed his weapon at officers and that’s when they shot and killed him. The Allen County Prosecutor’s Office did not press charges. The prosecutor’s office says the officers fired in self-defense.

Instead of calling for an ambulance, officers put TJ in handcuffs and loaded him into a squad car. His mother says his death was caused by the officers shooting at him and refusing to get him medical care.

“He wasn’t a bad person at all. I love him, and I want everyone to know that this could have happened to their son or their daughter. We’re trying to get justice so next time they’ll think twice and it won’t happen.”

Because of the excessive force and denial of medical care, she wants the case to go to trial. So far, a trial date has not been scheduled.