Family of Teen Killed by Police Speaks Out

By: Laura Kadechka
By: Laura Kadechka

The family of a Thomasville teenager shot and killed by Tallahassee police speaks out with strong accusations. The family says guns should never have been fired, so they'll be filing a civil lawsuit against the Tallahassee Police Department for what they say was unnecessary use of deadly force.

“It seems like this is never going to be over until we find answers to the execution of my son."

It’s a strong accusation from the father of 17-year-old John Francis Hayes, the teen shot and killed last month when Tallahassee police officers say Hayes failed to follow demands during a felony stop and dove into a car where they knew a gun was within his reach. During an investigation a gun was found.

Guy McIntyre, the Hayes family spokesman, says, "We're asking for justice, we're asking for the truth, because so far the truth has not come forth."

The family says they will be filing a civil lawsuit in federal court against the Tallahassee Police Department. They claim John Hayes was unjustly killed.

Joseph Weathers, the attorney representing the Hayes family, says, "John Frances' civil rights were unlawfully violated. There was unnecessary deadly force in this case."

Tallahassee police won't comment until the grand jury takes up the case next month.

OFC John Newland says, "We want to protect the integrity of the case, so that's why we're waiting until the grand jury meets."

In an interview last month, Chief Walt McNeil had this to say on the incident: "The officers were very clear in their commands, they were aware there was weapon in the car, they were following procedure as we understand it."

Still, the family says they won't rest quietly until they get more answers. The four officers involved in the shooting remain on paid administrative leave.

Last month, Chief McNeil said he's standing by his officers and believes the procedure was properly followed.


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