Family Suing Detroit PD for $50M After Mentally Ill Man Shot and Killed
The family of a mentally-ill man who was shot and killed by Detroit police officers last month is suing the department for $50 million.
Porter Burks was shot and killed during a mental-health crisis on October 2. At a press conference this morning, the family's attorney Geoffrey Fieger said that the medical examiner found 19 gunshot wounds on Burks' body, adding that a total of 38 shots were fired.
Family's Attorney Seeks Explanation
During the press conference, Fieger addressed Detroit Police Chief James White directly.
"Now Chief White, please explain to me why when you've got young, 20-year old, mentally-ill young man who is saying on the video 'I just want to go home and rest,' why you can't figure out a better way to deal with him then executing him by firing squad."
WDIV reports that members of Burks' family called police fearing for his safety and the safety of others. Burks was armed with a knife and had a history of stabbing people.
Police officers report that when they tried to calm Burks down, he charged at them with the knife which led officers to open fire.
Chief of Police Defends Officers' Actions
Back in October, Chief White defended his officers' actions, noting that Detroit Police officers are seeing more instances of dealing with mentally-ill individuals possessing weapons.
"The mental health crisis in this country is real, the mental health crisis in our city is real," White said. "This is not just a police matter.
You can watch a portion of Fieger's press conference in the video below.