The Texas Civil Rights Project announced Wednesday that it is suing the City of Austin and an Austin police officer on behalf of a man who was shot at in May of this year.
According to the civil complaint filed by the TCRP, 53-year-old James Barton was pulled over the Officer Justin Boehm with the Austin Police Department near the intersection of Airport Boulevard and 12th Street in East Austin.
Barton stepped out of his vehicle and moved towards the officer, which is when, according to Harrington, the officer fired one shot at Barton, missing him. It wasn’t until after the shot was fired that the Boehme yelled at Barton to get back into his vehicle and put his hands up.
Barton got back into his vehicle and suffered an anxiety attack, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said at the scene in May.
A spokesperson for the Austin Police Department said the investigation into the shooting is complete and will now go to a Travis County Grand Jury.
The lawsuit comes just weeks after another officer-involved shooting in Austin. On July 26, 32-year-old Larry Jackson Jr. was shot and killed by a detective in Central Austin. According the Austin American-Statesman, sources close to the investigation say the detective’s weapon had fired accidentally.
“The police are out of control with respect to the way they’re using deadly violence and the police chief is unable to control it,” Jim Harrington with TCRP said.
The lawsuit seeks compensation of more than $12,000 in outstanding medical bills as well as punitive damages from the officer.