Two Years After Oak Cliff Police Shooting, Victims' Families Unite in Suing the City

1031_xavion_collins.jpg
WFAA
Xavion Collins in 2010 after he was inadvertently shot by a police officer.
On the evening of October 29, 2010, Matthew Tate and other Dallas police officers were conducting a sweep of the Cedar Garden apartment complex in east Oak Cliff when they came upon Tobias Mackey. According to officers' accounts, Mackey began to reach into his waist band when ordered to show his hands. Fearing he was reaching for a gun, Tate opened fire, killing Mackey and grazing 11-year-old Xavion Collins, who had just returned home from a Halloween carnival and was walking to buy a soda.

A grand jury determined that Tate wasn't criminally liable, but Xavion's mother, Jacqueline Collins, filed a lawsuit against the city in Dallas County district court in October alleging that police had acted improperly. The city denied this in court filings and sought to claim immunity.

Last month, the lawsuit was expanded. Collins was joined in the lawsuit by Mackey's family, and Tate and Police Chief David Brown were added as defendants. According to an amended complaint, the fact that Mackey, an unarmed man standing in an apartment breezeway, was shot nine times shows that Tate acted unreasonably. The suit blames Brown and the city for not being aware of Tate's propensity to harass people in low income neighborhoods and for allowing sweeps that violated citizens' constitutional rights.

The case was also recently moved to federal court, where Brown filed a response last week denying the charges in the lawsuit. Brown "admits that former officer Tate at first had no reason to suspect that Mackey had committed an offense, but that as events unfolded Tate formed at least a reasonable apprehension of danger caused by Mackey."
DPD determined that Tate did not violate the department's use-of-force policy.


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7 comments
rowingisfun
rowingisfun

the 11 year old wasn't given the option of stopping and putting his hands in the air.  the city should pay something for his trouble.

guesto
guesto

"and was walking to by a soda."

 

Impressive.

CraigT42
CraigT42 like.author.displayName 1 Like

OK, common sense time.

 

When an armed man tells you to show your hands you do so. Fist time, every time.  This is basic survival 101.  When said man has a badge to go with his gun it is also the law. Arguing and posturing at an armed man is a good way to end up shot, reaching for your pants is a better way to end up shot.  Once again if that man has a badge  you are doubling down on your own stupidity when you fail to follow easy and clear instructions.

Hannibal_Lecter
Hannibal_Lecter

 @craig.thomas42 Of course we only have the officers' accounts that Mackey reached into his waistband. Based on my personal experience with the Dallas PD, I would take that with a very large grain of salt. Ask yourself which is the more likely scenario -- a person confronted by the police reaching into his pants for no reason, or a jumpy cop in a dark breezeway over-reacting?

CraigT42
CraigT42 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

 @Hannibal_Lecter 

I have had some bad calls with cops as well, there are some truly bad apples out there. However I am still inclined to believe that whether he was reaching for his waistband or not he most likely was not stopping with his hands clearly visible.  I say again, if a man with a gun says freeze or show me your hands just do it, even if it means your ridiculous pants fall down.

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