Family of Teen Boy Killed by Cobb County Police Files $150 Million Lawsuit
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Family of Teen Boy Killed by Cobb County Police Files $150 Million Lawsuit

WSB-TV

The family of 17-year-old Vincent Truitt has filed a $150 million lawsuit against Cobb County and the police officer who fatally shot the teen.

Truitt was shot twice in the back on July 13, 2020, following a police chase, AJC reports. Bodycam footage showed the teen jump out of a stolen Nissan Altima with a gun before running away from Officer Max Karneol.

Karneol recovered a gun at the scene after fatally shooting the teen. Now, nearly two years later, the teen’s family wants the county to pay up.

On Jan. 11, the family filed a $150 million wrongful death lawsuit in federal court. Attorney Gerald Griggs said that the new suit is believed to be the most money sought in a deadly police shooting in Georgia’s history.

A grand jury deliberated the case in February 2021 and, after eight hours, decided Karneol was within his rights to use deadly force when he killed Truitt, Cobb County District Attorney Flynn Broady Jr. said.

But, according to the 30-page lawsuit, Truitt was picked up by a friend that evening and had no idea that the car was stolen.

“The family has suffered long enough. We look forward to fully litigating this case,” Griggs said.

Griggs cites a Texas case in which a shooting was ruled justified by the local district attorney before a jury ended up awarding the man’s family $67 million in a federal civil trial, 11 Alive reports.

“At the time Truitt was shot, his back was turned and did not pose a physical threat of harm,” to the officer, the suit says.

The lawsuit calls out the police department for failing to train its officers properly.

“Cobb County maintained defective customs and policies,” it says.

Officers in the department “received deficient oversight and training in the use of force and firearms that did not adequately address the prevention of excessive force by the intentional discharges of firearms in situations where other non-lethal means of force was required in detaining suspects.”

The suit is seeking $50 million for Truitt’s mother, $50 million for his father, and $50 million for his estate as damages. Karneol has since returned to active duty with the Cobb County Police Department.


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