LEXINGTON, MASS. (WHDH) - The family of a man who was shot and killed by police in Lexington last year is now filing a lawsuit in connection with the incident.
Michael Heineman of the law firm HBMH Law said the firm filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of the family on Monday against multiple parties linked to the shooting. The suit, in turn, comes a matter of days after officials announced a judge ruled the shooting of 37-year-old Brendan Reilly was justified.
“Until now, we have abstained from making public comments about Brendan’s tragic loss of life with the hope that we would receive answers through a moral and accurate Inquest process,” Reilly’s family said in a statement.
“We attended all court dates for the Inquest proceedings,” the family continued. “Unfortunately, the Inquest did not adequately provide all answers to what happened to Brendan.
The shooting happened on Feb. 12, 2022.
In his report, Judge Michael Brennan said officers had been responding to an incident when Reilly allegedly threatened them with a knife.
Brennan said one officer slipped and fell on the scene, at which point Reilly allegedly charged at officers with the knife. Brennan said another officer ultimately shot and killed Reilly.
Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan addressed the shooting and the recent judge’s report in a statement on Saturday, saying “The Reilly family remains in our thoughts as they continue to mourn Brendan.”
Reilly’s family continued in their statement on Monday, saying the court overseeing the inquest into Reilly’s death “only heard evidence which the District Attorney’s Office selectively chose to present.”
“Important evidence was never presented for the Court’s consideration,” the family continued.
The family said the Middlesex District Attorney’s office also chose not to call an eyewitness to the shooting and the moments before it, adding the witnesses’ phone “was used to take photographs and video of the scene.”
“On February 12, 2022, Brendan lost his life at the hands of the Lexington police while suffering a mental health crisis outside of his home owned and operated by Eliot Community Human Services,” Reilly’s family said. “He was afraid for his life and desperately in need of care.”
“The use of aggressive behavior and force by the Lexington Police was unnecessary,” Reilly’s family continued. “Logical steps were not practiced by police responders.”
The family said it is suing the town of Lexington, the officers involved “and those who failed to provide necessary medical care to Brendan.”
“We look ahead to obtaining all evidence surrounding Brendan’s death, as any factual court proceeding should include,” the family said.
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