BOSTON (WHDH) - The family of a man killed in a police-involved shooting back in February is moving forward with a lawsuit against the city of Boston.
Wearing a mask with the words “Justice for Juston” printed on it, Juston Root’s sister Jennifer Root Bannon said a victory in court would bring their family one step closer to that.
“We are pleased with the results. We were confident they would proceed. We look forward to getting the truth at the trial,” she said.
Back in February Root, who suffered from mental illness, flashed what looked like a gun near Brigham and Women’s Hospital. That altercation led to a chase that ended in Brookline with police firing 31 shots.
“They were all acting – if I might say – like a fox hunt. Hounds at a fox hunt,” Root’s father Evan Root said.
Though the Norfolk County DA cleared the officers of any wrongdoing, the Roots filed the suit back in August and claimed Juston was shot to death by police who were not following proper protocols.
On Thursday, a federal judge denied the city of Boston’s motion to dismiss the family’s wrongful death lawsuit.
“They broke a lot of rules that day and we plan to keep them accountable,” Root Bannon said.
This comes amid a call for changes in policing. Something Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has vowed to work on this summer by creating a police reform task force.
“Because we’re bringing light on this subject, and we want change, and we want reform, does not mean we’re against police.,” Root Bannon said. “We’re saying, ‘Hey, there’s a problem we need accountability. Let’s make this better.”
The family said that in many ways, this is exactly what Juston would have wanted.
On the day before he was killed, he posted a video to YouTube in which he says, “Let’s not be so reactive to so many things all the time and understand where other people are coming from.”
“He wasn’t against the police but he felt they didn’t know how to do interventions,” said his father. “I want the training to be better. I want the general public to be aware of this.”
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