FAYETTEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA — The family of 22-year-old Jada Johnson, who was fatally shot by a Fayetteville police officer nine months ago, is filing a federal lawsuit against the city, the officers involved, and the police department.
Johnson was shot 17 times from the back, according to an autopsy report. The lawsuit seeks damages for Johnson’s death, alleging the police violated her civil rights during a mental health crisis, according to WNCN.
At a news conference, Johnson’s grandfather, Richard Iwanski, expressed his disbelief at the incident.
The suit states that Johnson, who had been discharged from a hospital for mental health care, called 911 fearing her boyfriend was trying to kill her.
Attorney Xavier T. de Janon claims that her grandparents were de-escalating the situation before the police intervened.
The lawsuit alleges that while Johnson was armed, she had lowered her gun and was tackled and pinned down by police.
Iwanski disputes the police’s account of a struggle leading up to the shooting.
The family’s lawsuit accuses the police of excessive force, wrongful death, and negligent hiring, training, and supervision, among other charges.
Johnson’s family is urging the mayor and city council not to use public tax dollars for the officers’ legal defense fees.
As the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation continues to review the case, the lawsuit’s outcome remains uncertain, with possibilities ranging from a trial to dismissal by a judge.