Family of man killed by DeKalb police files lawsuit - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Family of man killed by DeKalb police files lawsuit

Posted: Updated:
Sage Happ-Williams was 28 when he was shot and killed by officer during a standoff. Sage Happ-Williams was 28 when he was shot and killed by officer during a standoff.
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -

The family of a man killed by DeKalb County police officers during a schizophrenic breakdown two years ago is filing a lawsuit against the department.

Sage Happ-Williams was 28 when he was shot and killed by officers during a SWAT standoff on Feb. 25, 2012. His family says he did not have to die, and hopes this lawsuit will force the DeKalb County Police Department to adopt new training protocols.

"Hell -- it's like your heart is ripped out when your child has died," said Sage's mother, Kathy Happ.

Kathy Happ says that's what she's felt every day for the past two years.

"It's got to stop, police are killing mentally ill people all over the country for no reason," Happ said.

At the time he was shot, Sage was suffering a schizophrenic breakdown and was armed with a gun.

"We will not, and do not, believe that he was threatening anyone with any gun," said family attorney Brian Spears.
    
Police later determined the shooting was justified.

"The fact that they claim it was anything other than justified doesn't matter to us," Spears said.

Happ says she arrived with prescription medication that could have helped her son, but says police prevented her from getting it to him. With this lawsuit, she's hoping for change.

"Police shouldn't have to be handling mentally ill people, they need to have special units trained to deal with the mentally ill," Happ said.

Her daughter, Kendra Happ Williams, says police need better training to handle mentally ill people.

"We want DeKalb County -- and hopefully the rest of Atlanta -- to realize that this is an epidemic. That it has to stop," Kendra Happ Williams said.

Spears says the goal of the lawsuit is to force DeKalb County to re-evaluate their training protocols.

"We believe and know that there is training available that could have resulted in an intervention that could have involved not the use of deadly force, but instead would have brought this crisis to an end without the use of firearms," Spears said.

The lawsuit does seek monetary damages but the family's attorney could not give us an idea of how much they're seeking. The DeKalb County Police Department did not respond to FOX 5's request for comment.

  • Trevor Shirley's storiesMore>>

  • Security expert: cloud connects digital lives

    Security expert: cloud connects digital lives

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:46 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:46:41 GMT

    Information security officer Paresh Patel says many of us don't realize how a cloud connects our digital lives.

    Information security officer Paresh Patel says many of us don't realize how a cloud connects our digital lives.


  • Police search for ATM skimmer

    Police search for ATM skimmer

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:59 PM EDT2014-08-30 01:59:34 GMT
    Dunwoody police are searching for a man who they say attached a credit card skimmer to a SunTrust ATM.
    Dunwoody police are searching for a man who they say attached a credit card skimmer to a SunTrust ATM.
  • Daughter saves father’s life in Buford

    Daughter saves father’s life in Buford

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 9:49 PM EDT2014-08-28 01:49:03 GMT
    A Buford man says he owes his life to his little girl. Ernie Baca is alive after a seizure on Sunday and there's a good chance his 5-year-old daughter, Aliyah, is the one to thank.
    A Buford man says he owes his life to his little girl. Ernie Baca is alive after a seizure on Sunday and there's a good chance his 5-year-old daughter, Aliyah, is the one to thank.
Powered by WorldNow

KDFW FOX 4
400 N. Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202

Main Station Directory:
(214) 720-4444
News Fax:
(214) 720-3263 or (214) 720-3333

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices