ST. PAUL, Minn. - The family of a black Illinois man killed by St. Paul police last month is suing the city and the officers, saying his shooting was unjustified and an example of how African-Americans comprise a disproportionate share of those who die in encounters with the department.
Cordale Quinn Handy, of Waukegan, Illinois, died March 15. Authorities have said the 29-year-old pointed a gun at police officers responding to a domestic incident before he was shot.
Chicago civil rights attorney Andrew Stroth, who filed the lawsuit in federal court Wednesday, says the narrative from authorities is inconsistent with what he's heard from eyewitnesses.
"It's not just about financial remedy or money for the families. No amount of money can bring back Kim’s son. So what we want to do in St. Paul, which is a dangerous place for young black males, especially, we want the Mayor and the city and the police department to reform," said Stroth, at a press conference on Thursday.
"I would love the truth. It is the only way. That’s what’s going to set him [Cordale] free," said Kim Handy Jones, the mother of Cordale Handy.
The lawsuit alleges that Handy was following orders from the officers the night of his death, and that they did not have to open fire. Handy's mother is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages from the officers, the St. Paul Police Department and the City of St. Paul.
Police spokesman Sgt. Mike Ernester says the department doesn't comment on pending litigation.
A spokesperson for the City of St. Paul also said he could not comment on pending litigation.