Family of man killed by police suing Montgomery County
GAITHERSBURG, Md. - The family of a Black man shot and killed by Montgomery County Police last summer is suing the County and the four officers involved in the incident.
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In the lawsuit, 21-year old Ryan LeRoux's parents say Ryan was experiencing a mental health crisis the night four Montgomery County Police officers who are named in the suit fired 23 bullets into his car, killing him, FOX 5's Maureen Umeh reports.
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Umeh reports that family say the officers did nothing to deescalate the situation, but instead made it worse by surrounding Ryan with guns drawn while barking orders.
Ryan was sitting reclined in the driver's seat of his car, wearing headphones and staring into his cell phone.
Umeh says he had pulled into the drive through of a McDonald's in Gaithersburg, the night of July 16, 2021, ordered food, then refused to pay or move.
The lawsuit states that a crisis negotiator was called, but as they were en route - and after what had been a 90-minute standoff - police suddenly opened fire when they say Ryan sat up and they believed he had the gun in his hand.
Prosecutors say there's no clear footage of Ryan raising a gun, but a grand jury concluded that the officers' actions were justified, Umeh reports.
When police later searched Ryan's car, they found his legally purchased gun along with a prescription for an anti-psychotic drug.
According to Ryan's parents, he had struggled with mental illness for most of his life, and was living in his car around the time he was killed.
Their lawsuit claims that Ryan's rights were violated under the Americans with Disabilities Act because he was suffering from a mental health crisis when he was shot.
Umeh says family alleges that MCPD has a history of using deadly force in encounters with people in a mental health crisis – and that their officers don't receive proper training in how to handle such situations.
The LeRoux has filed a wrongful death suit against the county and the four individual police officers. They are hoping for a jury trial.