The family of a man who was shot and killed by a Dallas police officer this summer has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the officer and the police department.
The grand jury hasn't yet received the case against Officer Leland Limbaugh, who shot John Robert Husband, III. In all police shootings, a grand jury decides if the force was justified or not.
Still, a lawsuit filed in state court last week claims Husband's civil rights were violated and that Officer Limbaugh used excessive force.
His family claims eyewitness accounts of the shooting contradict Limbaugh's statements about what happened.
Police said the officer stopped Husband with two passengers following an illegal turn. The officer said he smelled marijuana, asked if there were weapons in the car and instructed Husband to exit the vehicle.
When he got out, Limbaugh said he saw a weapon in Husband's waistband, told him not to reach for it and attempted to handcuff him.
The men struggled. Limbaugh said Husband reached for his gun. Fearing for his life, he fired.
Husband was shot in the back near the left shoulder blade.
Four days after the shooting, Dallas Police Chief David Brown held a news conference.
"We're trying to match witness statements with physical evidence, key to any investigation of this nature. So being shot in the back could be shot at an angle, shot straight centered. How the bullet traveled, the angle of the bullet entry into Mr. Husband is vitally important to corroborate witness accounts," he said.
Husband's family doesn't dispute the fact that he had a weapon on him when he was stopped.
"He did have a weapon and so the issue becomes did he have it on him at the time. Was he actually attempting to use the weapon, reach for the weapon or anything that would give that officer reasonable belief that his life or safety was in jeopardy," said Steve Pipkin, an attorney for the family.
Pipkin said the witnesses, some from within the police department, dispute the claim that Husband was reaching for his gun.
There was no dash camera in Officer Limbaugh's squad car.
The police department is no longer talking about the case because of the pending litigation.
It has 20 days to file a response to the plaintiff's petition.
KDFW FOX 4
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