Tampa man suing city after shot by cops during suicide call - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa man suing city after shot by cops during suicide call

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Jason Turk is suing the Tampa Police Dept. and officer who shot him Jason Turk is suing the Tampa Police Dept. and officer who shot him
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

A man shot by the Tampa Police Department has filed a federal lawsuit against the police officer who shot him and the City of Tampa.

Jason Turk and his wife Amanda claim the city failed to properly train its officers to deal with people suffering mental distress.

Related: Police shooting leaves family asking about Tampa's training

A federal lawsuit filed Tuesday claims the city failed to provide crisis intervention training to its officers and that K-9 officer Tim Bergman used excessive force when he shot Jason the morning of January 9th. The litigation contends officer Bergman violated Jason Turk's 4th Amendment rights.

"My husband was shot by a police officer twice in the face is just still unimaginable to me," Amanda Turk said.

Jason sat in his car that morning, with his gun, and contemplated suicide.

"If I was a threat to anyone, I was a threat to myself," Jason Turk said.

Amanda called 9-1-1 for help that morning.

"He knows if cops come and he won't put the gun down that they'll shoot him," Amanda told the 9-1-1 operator.

TPD labeled the call a suicide by cop. The lawsuit points out Amanda shared Jason's mental health problems with 9-1-1 and never mentioned that Jason wanted police to kill him.

An 8 On Your Side investigation found 19 police officers responded to the call. Records show none received crisis intervention team training.

"This shooting was not justified," the Turks' attorney Michael Maddux said.

Four minutes after police arrived on scene, Officer Bergman opened fire.

Bergman claims Jason raised his gun.

"That weapon never came up," Jason Turk claims.

The lawsuit states Jason Turk posed no threat, Bergman failed to adequately assess the scene, and Jason needed crisis intervention, not to be shot.

"Seeing him laying there he hadn't been touched by anyone and his face was gone, and I thought he was gonna be gone too," Amanda Turk remembered.

"Where was the true crisis intervention person who is trained in de-escalating?" Maddux asked.

"Everyone of my officers is a negotiator and they try to de-escalate the situation as quickly as they can," Tampa police chief Jane Castor insists. "I think that the officer did exactly what he had to do at that that scene."

The lawsuit says differently.

"If we speak loudly enough it can get someone's attention and they can put into place something that will not allow this to happen again," Amanda Turk said.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.


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