The Family of John Husband, the 21-Year-Old Shot in the Back by Dallas Police, is Suing the City

Categories: City Hall, Crime

Thumbnail image for john_husband01.jpg
John Husband III

On June 2, John Husband III was shot in the back by a Dallas police officer during a traffic stop at the Timber Oaks apartment complex in Central Oak Cliff.

That much is clear. Exactly what precipitated the shooting remains in dispute.

Witnesses who were in the car with Husband told news outlets at the time that Officer Leland Limbaugh shot the 21-year-old in cold blood as he tried to flee. Police said Husband was reaching for the gun tucked in his waistband when Limbaugh pulled the trigger. During a press conference several days later, DPD Chief David Brown lashed out at the media, blaming them for sensationalizing the story and calling their coverage of the shooting "irresponsible." Now, more than six months later, the family is suing the city and Limbaugh in federal court.

The suit was filed in county district court at the end of November but was removed to federal court yesterday. It was filed by Husband's parents, John Husband Jr. and Latonya Jackson, and his girlfriend, 19-year-old Amber Gurley. His one-year-old son, John Husband IV, is also named as a plaintiff.

The sequence of events as described by the suit goes like this: Husband was driving along Folklore Trail at around 5:30 p.m. When he saw Limbaugh's lights flashing behind him, he dutifully pulled into the Timber Oaks complex and into a parking space. Limbaugh, who said in an affidavit that he made the stop after Husband failed to signal his turn into the apartments, emerged from his squad car and approached with gun drawn and aimed at Husband. Limbaugh then ordered Husband out of the car with his hands up and attempted to place him under arrest. It was only at that point that Husband began to resist asking "What did I do?" Leland told him to "Shut your bitch ass up."

"At this point," the suit continues, "Mr. Husband snatched his right hand free, turned to the right and started to run. According to the witness, he was not carrying a weapon. His back was facing Defendant Limbaugh and Defendant Limbaugh maliciously shot Mr. Husband in the back. Per this witness, Defendant Limbaugh did not find a weapon on Mr. Husband until minutes later after Mr. Husband was shot and lying on the ground."

As Husband lay on the ground, bleeding, the suit says that Limbaugh ordered him to "get your hands up or I'll shoot you again."

The family members claim that Limbaugh showed "willful and wanton disregard" for Husband's rights. Moreover, they say this was standard procedure for DPD.

"At the time of John Husband III's assault and killing, there was a widespread practice among the City of Dallas police officers to use whatever force they desired to seize and/or arrest a suspect as well as to use excessive force and seizure in custodial situations," the suit states. "The practice was so widespread as to constitute the policy and custom of the City itself."

The version of events laid out by Dallas police in the wake of the shooting is somewhat different. Limbaugh felt the weapon, a fully loaded .40 caliber handgun, as he was attempting to make the arrest. He only fired when he saw Husband reach for it, then took the handgun and placed it on his squad car until backup arrived.

In their response to the lawsuit, the city and Limbaugh reiterate much of this in making the case that Limbaugh's use of force was justified. They categorically deny that Husband's rights were violated or that Limbaugh acted negligently. But that, of course, will be up to a jury to decide.



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15 comments
rusknative
rusknative

my goodness...black dude has a gun, runs from arrest, family denies it all because the cop was violent and unreasonable.

these are not responsible gun owners. these are kneegrows with weapons.

mcdallas
mcdallas

I didn't know Rush was related to a Dallas police officer.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

Failing to signal a turn is in no way an arrestable offense.  The officer doesn't have his story straight or a good story.  His "attempt to grab a weapon" while fleeing might well have been him holding his pants up--don't know if you noticed, but kids like Husband often have waistband issues.  Which brings up full circle, perhaps if Husband had followed the Oracle of Oak Cliff, Dwayne Carraway, and pulled them up and worn a belt, Mr Husband might be alive today. 

schutzenaivewhitegui
schutzenaivewhitegui

@mcdallas He isn't. Officer Limbaugh is actually a brown Latino Hispanic Person of Colour.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@scottindallas The minor problem of having a handgun in his pants would not have been an issue? Even if I had a legitimate reason to carry a hand gun, if I look to be arrested, the first thing I tell the officer is I have a hand gun in X location, I will not move a nanometer until you retrieve it. Then we can get on with traffic stop. Where do people get the idea they can just run away from the police?

aaronstew05
aaronstew05

really? so, knowing the guy had a gun in his waistband, once he struggled to flee the officer shouldnt assume the guys reaching for the gun but merely trying to keep his pants up?  really?  unbelievable.  but, all the more reason not to flee, or carry weapons if youre not gonna obey orders, or maybe a reason people shouldnt dress like a clown if they plan on running from the police?

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@MikeWestEast how do you shoot behind you while fleeing?  Further, no witnesses saw a gun.  Is this a drop gun?  The officer didn't have cause to shoot.  Didn't have cause to arrest either. 

schutzenaivewhitegui
schutzenaivewhitegui

@mcdallas HEY NAIVE DIPSHIT WHITE-GUILTER! OFFICER LIMBAUGH REALLY IS A BROWN LATINO HISPANIC. Apparently you are so fucking NAIVE that you think all Latinos have names like "Martinez". Dumbshit.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@scottindallas @MikeWestEast A drop gun? How many of those occur in Dallas PD outside of tv stories? I may have missed it, but I cannot recall any in the 16 years I have lived in the city. It is dark, officer believes he detected a gun, person flees, makes motion like he is going in immediate vicinity of where officer detected the weapon. He is not going to let someone flee with a weapon and he sure is not going to try and "wing" him. Bad choices by the person being stopped, before and after the stop, bring bad results. If he had not done any of at least 4 bad choices, he would be alive. Advice - stop making bad choices

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