SOUTHAVEN, Miss. — The Southaven police officer who shot and killed Ismael Lopez has not been indicted. The battle between Southaven and Lopez’s family is just beginning though,
A civil lawsuit will soon be filed in federal court, according to the Lopez family lawyer.
Attorney Murray Wells said Ismael Lopez’s wife and son will be seeking millions, but it’s not about money, it’s about justice.
Ismael Lopez’s family waited for a year before they heard the officers who shot their loved one were not indicted by a grand jury.
“The family has been literally devastated, because they believed that was a place to find justice,” said Murray Wells, who is representing the Lopez family.
The family will try to find some justice in federal court.
“We haven’t arrived at a number...but it will be in the millions,” said Wells. “We don’t know how big the cover up is?”
Murray Wells said the family is not motivated by money or seeing an officer put behind bars.
In fact, the Southaven police officer who fired the fatal shot has already quit the force and profession.
“They don’t have desire for officer to be behind bars...They’re glad he’s not out there,” said Wells, who said the family was too emotional to talk to the media.
Wells said the family hopes to see policies change, and the police department hold their officers accountable for the fatal mistake.
They also want all the facts to come out, which Mrs. Lopez disputes has happened. Wells said the family believes the MBI investigation did not get to the truth, specifically about the moments before Lopez was shot inside his trailer on July 23, 2017.
“She disputes that…she ever heard drop your rifle. Those are statements that she disputes ever even happened,” said Wells, speaking of Mrs. Lopez’s eye witness account to her husbands death.
“That leaves you with two witnesses to really tell you what happened that night, which of course, are the people that put the bullets through the door into the back of Mr. Lopez’s head.”
While the family waits for the lawsuit, they continue to grieve and wait for an apology.
“They were at the wrong house, can we apologize for that,” asked Wells.
“Justice doesn't mean long prison sentence is. Justice can mean explanations, answers, apologies, understandings in an effort to make sure this situation doesn't happen to the next person.”
Murray Wells said if District Attorney John Champion presented the option of second-degree murder to the grand jury, he must have believed there was evidence that second-degree murder was committed.
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