Federal court weighs Jones family's wrongful death lawsuit

Within a week a federal court may decide the next step for a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Bryan Jones, who Sandusky County Sheriff's deputies shot and killed last year.
Melissa Topey
Dec 2, 2011

Within a week a federal court may decide the next step for a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Bryan Jones, who Sandusky County Sheriff's deputies shot and killed last year.

Jones' mother and father filed a $20 million wrongful death lawsuit against Sandusky County, the sheriff's department and deputies who were involved in Bryan's July 11, 2010, shooting death.

The family called 911 for help that night after Bryan threatened his mother. Sheriff's deputies showed up and assembled a tactical response team that ultimately stormed the home and shot Bryan nine times.

The court could decide to dismiss the case or present it to a jury, which would ultimately settle on an appropriate financial compensation for the family. The family has said the raid was a blatant violation of Bryan's civil rights.

 

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Comments

Amerian Dad

Did they wait long enough?  Did they go in too soon?  Could other optonis have been presented? Did they wait too long?........Wasn't there, don't know.  I have a better than average skill set in this area but I still will not speculate on what was it the right and/or wrong way to do things.   We can Monday night quarter back this situation over and over again.   My main question is this; whether he was a sleep, faking being a sleep or starlted by the distractionary device, how long does it take to pull a trigger?  Answer, poised and ready, less than a second.........thought process to trigger pull, maybe a little over a second.  If those Deputies felt they were in imminant danger at that point in tme (not after words, not prior to but at that moment) than they did what they felt was right!  Or should they have waited until he shot one of them first, then return fire?

Do some of you actually think that a Law Enforcement Officer goes through their careers with the intent on taking the life of a person?  Thats something they have to live with now for the rest of their lives.  Most wish that it never happenes to them! 

This ruling will no doubt further tie the hands of Law Enforcement on similar situations.  I'm sorrowed for the Jones family for their loss and for the Deputies, may St. Michael watch over and protect you. 

 

illuminoctis

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czechurself

@ sash... for 1 hr and 22 minutes Jones was observed having liitle to no movement as it appeared he was even "passed out". (Overmeyer testifies that he was infact aware of alcohol and poss drug use that night.) He did not move when the phone rang mulitiple times, he did not flinch when the officers entered the home and yelled repeatedly "sheriffs department!!!" (all available in dispatch and officer reports)  and yet they felt it was necessary to cause conflict by detonanting a flash bang grenade into the residence anyway rather than attempt to disarm him while he "slept".  No additional calls to the residence were ever made to attempt contact with Jones, no lights were used to indicate police presence outside the home, no blowhorn was used to attempt to alert or contact Jones, no chemical weapons (gas) although these items were available. Overmeyer also testified that they didnt want to cause a "stir" that might lead to problems so they didnt even want to bang on the window. The father even asked to try to contact his son when, imo, he realized the methods the TRT was going to take but he was refused.  

There is no indidcation that Jones was ever aware of police presence the entire time he was ALONE in the house, posing no apparent threat to ANYONE.  

@ sash... Consolo had personal issues with Calvillo? The only dealings Consolo had with Calvillo were regarding internal investigations that he was directed to perform as a result of insubordination, and domestic violence situations.  Gangwer on the other hand might be who had "issues" as it was his neice that Calvilllo had been marrried to resulting in domestic situations.         

@Gilamonster...I agree that Overmeyer was not qualified to call the shots in this situation as well the TRT had not been performing regular training sessions for possibly months. Calvillo had no business being allowed to remain "team leader" since he has displayed violent tendencies and was insubordinate (these are judgments on and off duty) and was not even allowed to carry a firearm on duty at this time.  The use of M16 and 9 mm Beretta was extreme use of fire power.  No other tactical proticals were followed prior to entry. 

Coroner reports indicate that Jones had bullet wounds to areas of his extremeties that suggest his arms were somewhat raised but to do not prove that he was pointing a weapon.  I suppose having a 9mm Beretta and an M16 unloading into a persons body would account for some movement.

The boy may not have been a model citizen but the tactics and lack of procedure caused a person to die unecessarily.  And yes,

@lor70, from the several reports made by the officers on the scene, it appears it would have been just that easy to take the gun from his lap and detain him. 

Amerian Dad

@ Czechurself........ It's very apparent you are very familiar with this matter and the last thing I want to do is upset you further and/or cause any argument.  However, your comment about the use of an M16 (M4) and/or 9mm is not classified as extreme when it comes to tactical teams for CQB.   SWAT, TRT, SRT, HRT and the like all impliment these weapons into these situations, from LA to NY.   It's not the weapons who are extreme but rather those person(s) who operate them.  And that is an area I'm staying away from because I will not speculate on this matter....................

czechurself

@ American Dad ... I do not know this family nor am I from the area in which they reside.  I do not want to seem as if I am personally affected by this situation but I am "familiar", as you say,  with it.  As for weaponry, I stand corrected.  You make a valid point.  I do still disagree with the procedures that led to the outcome. 

 

I Judge you

But is it true the one boy said "hey watch this" before he slaughtered a sleeping man?

gilamonster

 

Safe to say Jones reaped what he sowed, to be honest I have no sympathy for him. I don’t question weapons used, or number of rounds fired. I question if LE tried to resolve the issue peacefully and ethically to the best of their abilities, that’s their job. I do not think they did.   I fail to see the direct threat until Overmeyer placed the officers in the position to engage. Flashbang should incapacitate target for several seconds allowing entry and subduing or termination of target. It worked perfect. I cannot convince myself they thought this would end the situation without shooting him. There were no hostages in the house, no violent standoff. Using a diversion device also has an added benefit, easier to cover things if the situation gets “sloppy”. Coroner said looks like his arms were in shooting position, sure as hell; or maybe he lifted them because a bomb blew up next to him.   Give a person some OPTAC training he becomes SOCOM, give his TRT black bdu’s, some toys, training every six months and bingo; they turn into FORECON. I take that back, huge insult to Recon. Inadequate training? Perhaps they should invest in a “203” for the next go-around. Only thing worse than a sleeping drunk with a weapon, are wannabe paramilitary commandos.    If Judges harshly sentenced criminals, and prisons moved back toward punishment and hard labor; maybe some of these thugs would not repeat past mistakes. 
BigCityGirl

I agree with everyone who says his family is to blame, not law enforcement. And seriously, 20 million...I'm pretty sure they are just looking for an easy payday!! I'm sorry that they lost their son, however they should have done more to help him before they let him get drunk/high and have a gun. I do not think that anyone deserves to die, so don't get me wrong, but I do think people need to take responsibility for their actions and he obviously never cared. Why did he have the gun in the first place? The police officers were right to shoot first before he did, as soon as he lifted the gun. And his family saying he wasn't on meds for his mental problems because his doctor moved away....there was only ONE doctor in town??? Get a new doctor!! He obviously did have mental issues though, because no one in their right mind shoots into someone's house, threaten's their mom, falls asleep/passes out with a gun on their lap, I mean come on, if he wasn't killed or atleast put into jail he would have eventually killed someone. And his family putting on a show in fremont, absolutely ridiculous!! Hey teach the younger children pointing guns at people is ok!! Maybe they can call the cops on them when they get older and threaten the parents as well! Another 20 million dollar payday! Yes he may have been disoriented when the cops walked in, but that doesn't give him to right to point a gun at them. If he hadn't had the gun on his lap in the first place, this never would have happened. So lets start blaming him for this!! And as for his mother saying she didn't actually think he would hurt her or anyone, then why'd she call the cops? Because she finally decided to start caring about her son, after not caring that he was heavily drinking and doing drugs? I'm not saying she didn't care about her son, but she should have done something WAYYYY before letting him get that out of control!!

DGMutley
Worth repeating, from the 2010 Archives, =========================================== DGMutley says,   Maybe I'm alone but I am sick and tired of reading week after week about law enforcement taking out mentally ill folks or folks who aren't capable of taking care of themselves.

The "heartfelt sympathy" from the sheriff's dept is pretty shallow considering that they knew going into subdue him that if he twitched he was dead.

Flash-bang, break door down, surprise, surprise, surprise--what kind of reaction was expected?  

Honest to God, animal control needs to be called in these situations!!!!   =========================================== DGMutley says,  

It's not surprising that the deputies were not charged. How could they be without saying the deputies don't have the right to protect and defend themselves? That isn't the issue. The issue is that we don't go around killing 26 year old kids for being drunk and stupid.

From what I've read Jones was drunk and passed out and didn't even know that they were coming until the flash bang when off waking him up (startling him).

There isn't any sense to the way this problem was handled. The sanctity of life got lost somewhere along the way when it should have been the priority.

======================================
starryeyes83

illum:   Good you weren't needed here to begin with.    Apparently you condone this clown's actions- I do not.   His parents should have handled him instead of calling the law.    Just one LESS criminal in the world.

 

I take it you condone the fact that this clown  had fired shots into a house with a five year old , nearly missing  him/her.   And yes, there WERE drugs involved.   I do remember the family protesting with their  signs and  they also DID have the little kids pointing toy guns at passing cars...I would say that speaks volumns about this family's  role in life...They have been nothing more than leeches..Period.  

There,   I prettied the wording up a bit....

 

When you said   I was "hanging by a thread"...   that sounded like a threat to me.   Maybe YOU should brush up on your comprehension a bit.

czechurself

Staryyeyes and BigGirl,  you are entirely off point missing the whole issue being brought up. 

The opinion is not that Jones conduct should be condoned or whether the family displays certain social graces.  Opinions on those matters do not justify the procedures taken by the TRT.  The objective to their presence was to prevent any injuries yet an unecessary death occurred at their hands.  

lor70

For those of you who are against the officers in this situation....what would your stand be if it were one of the officers shot and killed and not this guy?   How would you have handled it....knowing he had a gun and was high or drunk?   When your life is on the line....what would you do....this guy had issues!!  His own mother was afraid of him or she wouldn't have called the police in the first place!!  I'm sure they loved their son and they miss him and wished it would've ended differently, however, to sue for $20 million is crazy and undeserving!! 

illuminoctis

you do not truly want a world where police, fbi, and other law enforcement have the right to just do what they want and if they do kill someone uneccessarily the public just says "that is fine" do you? i vote that all kids should probably get off this site right now and let the adults discuss this instead.

starryeyes83 said.. I take it you condone the fact that this clown  had fired shots into a house with a five year old , nearly missing  him/her. i clearly said he probably should have gotten more than 3 years in prison, considering the circumstances that he was close to hitting a kid.. i dunno why you want to pretend like i didn't already say that. I do remember the family protesting with their  signs and  they also DID have the little kids pointing toy guns at passing cars...I would say that speaks volumns about this family's  role in life. are you saying that you saw the adults coaching the kids to point the guns at the cars?.. or were they just kids being kids all on their own?.. you've never seen kids playing with squirt guns or zapper noise guns or anything like that?... volumes? really? i am actually very over-analytical some would say and i cannot seem to come up with anything close to one volume. When you said   I was "hanging by a thread"...   that sounded like a threat to me.   Maybe YOU should brush up on your comprehension a bit. i can see you have a tendency to make a big deal out of things that are small (or even non-existent things, apparently).. hanging by a thread means that you basically do not give up even when you have little hope of success, you fight until the very end.. the line was from the movie "Jerry Maguire" which you obviously did not watch or do not remember that part : P

@ bigcitygirl after the flash bang it is said that officers could not clearly see jones but yet they claim to know that he made eye contact with them.. you can barely see the guy and yet you can see what his eyes are focused on?? sounds fishy to me.. and uh btw, your post is just riddled with assumptions and general bias it seems... there is no proof that he raised a weapon, only that he raised his arms..which is what most people do if cops point weapons at them.. u throw up your hands in surrender usually... maybe that is what he was doing and the cops, who could not see clearly, got scared and shot him?

@lor70 the procedures used were retarded, period.. and it is potentially dangerous (for us, as citizens) for people to continue to applaud (and/or make excuses for) those procedures.. we are criticizing whoever was calling the shots here, whether that was the officers or their superiors.. and to answer your question about how i would feel if the cop had gotten shot.. i was very upset over officer dunn's death and i did not even know him.

P.S. no one here criticizing (the procedures that were used) is even talking about money here so.. forget about the money and focus on what is important.

illuminoctis

all of this aside, i hope everyone has a merry christmas.. regardless of your current financial situation i hope that everyone can at least get together with family for a really nice dinner and some movies or something like that.

czechurself

@ Patriot ...I think that the conversation was more regarding exact procedure by TRT than whether Jones is a model citizen.  Most people here are using false causality saying that if we disagree with the tactics that ended up killing a boy who had displayed previous illicit behavior we must condone the behavior.   Not the case.  The opinions shared by those that are concerned with TRT tactics are not emotional opinions rather they are based on the facts.  You feel the same I see. 

 

 @ illumi....Aww thanks, man, you illumin up my life a lil bit with that ;)   you have happy holidays with your family too!  

SMF1

 

You too illuminoctis :)

patriot5
It is clear most do not question Jones character, I do not feel he served enough time in prison. The question remains were the officers justified in breaching the house? Someone said early no hostages, no standoff, no violence displayed toward anyone; they report he was passed out. I do not feel they were justified to do so. Some say lack of training, I agree that Overmeyer was not qualified to handle the situation. However he deployed a tactic that put his team at minimal risk to extract or execute Jones, I feel they knew it would be elimination. Almost an act of cowardice by the TRT. If you look at what was happening upon arrival, nothing until Overmeyer turned a static situation into a dynamic one placing everyone in harms way.   There are numerous instances of misuses of diversionary devices, by poorly trained or under trained “cowboys.” Sometimes it is officers lack of judgment that enacts regulations that tie their hands. This will probably end up in a training video, “What not to do.”   Some comments here scare me. Example should I need to call the police, I can just expect someone gets executed; otherwise I shouldn’t call the cops. After all there are no other methods to deploy that may have a more peaceful resolution. 
SimpleEnough

We can all make assumptions as to what could/should have been done after the fact. Like I had said before in previous stories, what were the circumstances that had the Sheriff decide to make a tactical entry to end the situation? What was the environment (besides dark at night)? There were how many family members there at the scene and how did their behavior play a role in this (we saw it afterwards in Fremont), we had law enforcement from OSP, SCSO, FPD and Sandusky County Parks Service I believe, so we had a lot of resources committed to this one call. So what were they to do send the resources away continue to cordone a sizeable area off with just their manpower (SCSO) and wait Bryan out? We pay the Sheriff to do his job make decisions, to protect and serve the county residents and that includes the folks that live in that area. The situation would have never happen if Bryan's numerous actions had not set the stage. His civil rights were not violated, he was in violation of "weapons under disability" a felony, LEO were to ignore this? I don't think so.  

czechurself

@ SimpleEnough....

That is exactly the right question.."what were the circumstances that had the Sheriff decide to make a tactical entry to end the situation?"  If you read the official reports from officers and dispatch re: the circumstances leading up to entry, it does not appear the choice to use of DefTac upon entry was an appropriate call.  This tactic specifically is what lead to the outcome. 

It has been reiterated that there were no other tactical protocols were attempted prior to entry.  Yes it was dark and no illumination was the direct order by the Sheriff, which would have been one protocol that would have made police presence known outside the home.  As to the family who were at the scene, no family was allowed at the scene although Jones' dad asked to be allowed to talk to his son.  That request was denied and would have been possible with the use of a blowhorn and would also have been another protocol to making contact with Jones.  Only one attempt to contact Jones by phone was made (by dispatch) but it was observed that the phone rang multiple times and Jones remained unresponsive during that attempt.  No other call was attempted and normally several attempts are made, yet another possibility for protocol.  No other devise to attempt to disarm Jones was used such as chemical devises that would have kept officers themselves out of danger.  Here again, possible protocol.  Any of these procedures could have kept officers from having to make entry to begin with.  

Glad you bring up the point and ask the question what should they do "wait Bryon out".  Yep.  Even if it meant they were going to be compensated for it with overtime, which was a large concern for the department.  Especially if it meant the diffusing the situation peacefully. 

The direct call was made not to disturb Bryon.  NOT to "stir" him was the decision while officers sat outside observing Jones for over an hour showing little, and then no movement.  Hence the reason Overmeyer gives for never opting the use of the procedures I referred to in the above.   In testimony Overmeyer states,  "no movement,  we go in" ...."movement,  we don't go in". 

So it is exactly the right question to wonder what in the world would caused Overmeyer to allow TRT to first make entry and THEN use a devise meant to alarm him while he was just several feet away from officers and still holding a weapon????  We pay the Sheriff to make decisions that protect ALL its constituents, including Jones and his officers.   Overmeyer risked the lives of the TRT and is resonsible for the actions that caused Jones death by his decisions.   

Being in possession of a weapon under disability does not carry the penalty of death.      

sanduskysteve

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DGMutley
So, SimpleEnough, let me make sure that I understand your thoughts.   Your 26 year old son is in there lying on the couch, passed out, with mental issues, and you would say, "Go in there and explode a flash-bang by his ear and if he moves, shoot him!"?
SimpleEnough

DGMutly, Mental issues my butt, he has had his butt in a crack for sometime. If you want to stand by the mental issues arguement, would that make it even more the reason to end it quickly and use a TRT to try to end it without injury to all parties involved, but guess what, no one knew what Bryan with a shotgun would do, did they!

SimpleEnough

sorry double post.

starryeyes83

illumi: 

  If you were around Fremont at the time YOU would  know,   now wouldn't you? 

 Did they coach  the kids -  YES!!!   

 

Apparently,  you think you have all the answers and  you clearly do not.    There is a reason this family has gotten  the reputation they have over the years. 

 

Now I know you're going to feel compelled to make a  smart @ss know- it -all answer.   You are clearly trolling on this story. 

 copy and paste away....

czechurself

why didn't i say that?

starryeyes83

@ illum ;    FYI ,   No, I've never seen  Jerry McGuire ( can't stand TC)  so your reference   means nothing to me. 

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