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Family of man shot 31 times by police after chase from Longwood Medical Area sues officers, city

WBZ reports on the lawsuit by the family of Justin Root, fatallly shot in Chestnut Hill after threatening police with what turned out to be a fake gun outside Brigham and Women's Hospital. A valet was injured by a bullet shot at Root by an officer.

Complete complaint (3M PDF).

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Comments

I read the Globe article and, if true, this is beyond horrifying.

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Voting closed 37

Someone threatening officers with a gun (even if it turns out to be fake) makes it reasonable for police to fire, however, that doesn't mean that anything they do after that is fair game.

I agree with you, and if true is quite important at this point, but this quote:

“I killed that mother [expletive]. I emptied my magazine on him ... I won’t talk,” some officers were recorded saying, the lawsuit alleged. Someone suggested they check for a pulse, but they didn’t bother, according to the lawsuit.

Is a prime example of why people are upset with police departments. If that's actually recorded, I hope the recordings are released.

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Voting closed 86

A man pulls a weapon in front of a major hospital and points at a police officer. He is eventually stopped after a high speed chase and a second weapon is found under his body. The weapons are discovered to be not real. If the police guess wrong in either moment, how many officers should die to avoid killing the man who brandished a weapon? This is a sad case, and it may be argued that excessive force was used, but what is excessive under these circumstances. This is a clear example of how officers never know what they will face on any given day. I am not a member or related to anyone in law enforcement. The police were reasonable in eliminating a perceived threat to themselves and the community.

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Voting closed 89

This is not “reasonable force”, there is no justification for it. There would have been no one wounded at all if the police had acted like law enforcement and not cowboys. Stop excusing bad behavior.

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Voting closed 28

Shooting the guy at the hospital, fine. Makes sense. From there, the story is police killing for sport/revenge.

From the eyewitness reports:

"The former EMT, whose name is not disclosed in the lawsuit, told investigators she watched Root stagger from his wrecked car and fall. She said he was covered in blood, fell to a crawling position, and looked as if he were having a heart attack.

The former paramedic went to Root. He clutched his chest and did not make a sound.

That was when police rushed in. McMenamy shouted at the woman to run, stood over Root as he crouched, held his boot at a 90-degree angle and kicked him to the ground, the lawsuit said.

McMenamy stepped back, and along with the other five officers they “formed a loose line a few feet from Mr. Root” and opened fire, the suit said."

Gross, disturbing and of course they all had their cameras off because a police officer's # 1 priority is covering their asses, not public safety.

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Voting closed 42

You know there are two bodycam vidoes of the shooting and two eyewitness statements that say Root reaches into his coat and grabbed what they thought was a gun correct?

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Voting closed 30

It seems so convenient that police body cam videos are never on in these situations or have "malfunctions." These body cams s/b running at all times; the officers should not be able to turn them off and on themselves.

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Voting closed 51

Disgusting that patients with critical illnesses at the hospital and their visiting lived ones have to be in fear from violent aholes with real and replica weapons while seeking life saving-treatment. Arrogant and entitled violent selfish losers terrorizing people just trying to survive... horrible.

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Voting closed 58

Hey Disgusting:

He was mentally ill. Diagnosed, spent time in mental hospitals, was in supportive housing in Mattapan and on meds. I knew him 20 years ago--I knew there something off in five minutes. The mentally ill are not aholes or arrogant and entitled selfish losers, they are mentally ill. You on the other hand...

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Voting closed 44

Hey George, STOP disparaging those with mental illness as VIOLENT criminals. It's harmful and abhorrent.

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Voting closed 13

So, he was mentally ill. How were the police to know.

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Voting closed 20

So you think it's fine that someone who is that severely mentally ill recklessly speeds through steets in a car endangering cyclists and pedestrians?

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Voting closed 16

My retired-fireman neighbor, who is still tight with his former colleagues told me much the same story 2 days after the shooting. I'm surprised it took this long to surface. If I knew, then surely the Globe knew and decided to sit on it.

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Voting closed 19

What is the status of the reform bill? After reading this complaint reform is necessary. The poor valet's lawsuit will be in the millions.

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Voting closed 22

Where was his family the night of February 7?

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Voting closed 40

fake or not, he pulled a piece on the cops. let’s make sure we watch that video again

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Voting closed 51

You know they killed him several minutes later after he basically bled out and was crawling on the ground, without a weapon out and pointed at the cops right?

Kill him in a firefight at the hospital, totally justified due to the threat level. Killing him 4 miles away when he's incapacitated, just cops murdering because they can.

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Voting closed 31

video to back up your claim?

It’s a serious question not just snarky

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Voting closed 23

it’s in the article

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Voting closed 18

The article is behind a paywall. But there were 6 Officers involved including a State Trooper but somehow not one of their bodycams were working properly at the time. They need to remove the damn off switch. That's preposterous that all 6 malfunctioned at the same time. The article implies that this was an execution not self defense.

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Voting closed 27

And those cams have video of the shooting. There are other bod cameras that were on that were also on but were behind those officers.

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Voting closed 19

to react. What do you do?

I have a lot of questions like what did his family do, knowing he was bipolar and had schizoaffective disorder? Did they try to get him committed? Make sure he was taking his meds? Make sure he was being treated by a qualified counselor/psychiatrist? Why was he not committed if he was delusional?

From the picture of the paintball pistol in the car, I would not know if was a real gun or not if it was being pointed at me from at least a couple yards away and there had been reports of a man with a gun.

Root speeds away in his car endangering every other driver and pedestrian nearby and it's not ok for the police to try to stop him??

I see that the picture of the inside of his car shows not only the gun he pointed at police but also another gun partially hidden by a cup. Was that a real gun or not? Could you tell if it was real if it was pointed at you from yards away??

A bb gun was found under his body so as far as the police knew, Root was still armed and could have killed an innocent bystander. It's so easy for people who were not there to say what should have happened but if it was your job to keep the public safe and this person had already pointed (what you believed to be) a gun at you, then drove recklessly endangering many people, crashed into another car, injuring those people, got out of his car and had (what you believed to be) another gun and you have seconds to react, what would you do?

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Voting closed 23

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. If you listened to the chaos on the radio that day, a person pulled a gun, there were shots fired and the valet was found to be struck. It was believed at the time that the deceased had shot the valet, so at the time, the officers believed they were chasing an armed suspect who had just shot at officers and a valet at a hospital. This coming within recent years where a mentally ill suspect shot doctors inside a Boston hospital. Now looking at it in slow motion with all of the facts, we learn that that the original encounter was not what the responding officers believed it to be. The language is troubling, but again they believe they have just ended a threat and probably stopped a hospital shooting as well as neutralized a threat of someone they believe was shooting at officers. Will be interesting to see how it plays out lawsuits against police seem to be coming out of the woodwork these days.

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Voting closed 17

I'm not an armed public servant wearing protective gear. Police officers should not be shooting at people. The police over-reacted, yet again, and were smug assholes about it afterward. I don't want those men "protecting" me nor my friends, family, and neighbors.

People with mental illness should not be "committed" and kept out of sight. They are people and they are loved. This man's family loved him.

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Voting closed 11