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Family Sues Sacramento County, Rancho Cordova Over Police Shooting Of Black Man

Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

Brigett McIntyre discusses the federal lawsuit filed against two Sacramento area law enforcement agencies over the 2017 shooting death of her son, Mikel McIntyre, Wednesday, June 27, 2018, in Sacramento

Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

Don Thompson, Associated Press

(AP) — The family of a black man fatally shot by deputies in Sacramento County announced Wednesday it has filed a lawsuit alleging they opened fire as the unarmed man ran away and that authorities have failed to provide details more than a year later. 

Rancho Cordova police and emergency workers twice failed to get Mikel McIntyre mental health care the day he was shot, according to the federal lawsuit filed by his relatives.

Sacramento County sheriff's deputies said they shot McIntyre during a May 8, 2017, confrontation after he struck a Rancho Cordova officer and a police dog with rocks "and then attempted to strike the deputies."

McIntyre's mother, Brigett McIntyre, said she has been provided no additional information more than a year later, including an autopsy report, and complained that no decision has been made on whether the deputies acted properly.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified financial damages from Sacramento County and Rancho Cordova.

Family attorney John Burris, who wants the deputies criminally charged, said video shot by a bystander showed McIntyre, 32, was running away when he was shot in the back.

"This is a classic example when an officer should not have used deadly force," he said.

The lawsuit comes as the Sacramento area and the nation continue to be roiled by the shootings of young black men by police. In March, unarmed black man Stephon Clark was shot by Sacramento police, prompting weeks of protests.

In Pennsylvania, a white police officer was charged Wednesday with homicide after shooting a black teen who did not have a weapon.

Brigett McIntyre said her son was "acting very strange" the day of the shooting and was being unacceptably rough with a young relative. She first called firefighters and later police, all of whom decided her son did not qualify for being involuntarily committed, she said.

Sheriff's deputies said they were responding to emergency calls of an assault by McIntyre on his mother in a parked vehicle. One caller "stated the suspect was hitting and choking a female inside her vehicle, and attempting to pull her out of the vehicle," the department said at the time

"They turned him away and then just hours later my son is dead," Brigett McIntyre said, breaking down at a news conference outside the federal courthouse in Sacramento. She said deputies should have used less lethal methods like Tasers.

She and other relatives described her son as a church-going man, an athlete who coached and loved children.

"He wasn't a criminal. He wasn't a thug, he wasn't violent, so I don't understand," said Cassius Hudson, the mother of McIntyre's 21-month-old son, Noah. The couple had planned to marry before McIntyre began acting strangely before his death, she said.

The autopsy has not been released, but attorney Melissa Nold said she viewed the body and observed that McIntyre had been shot once in the back near his spine, once in the back of his arm, and once in the front of his thigh.

Sheriff's department spokesman Sgt. Shaun Hampton declined comment on the pending lawsuit. He said the deputies involved in the shooting have returned to full duty. Sacramento County District Attorney's spokeswoman Shelly Orio said the shooting is still under review.

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