Family files lawsuit following fatal San Jose police shooting

Bay Area

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – The family of a man shot and killed by San Jose police has filed a lawsuit against the city.

27-year-old David Tovar was wanted in connection with a murder and other violent crimes when he was killed by officers in January.

The lawsuit filed today claims the deadly shooting was unjustified because Tovar was unarmed.

This lawsuit also says police did not try to deescalate the situation in any way when they were trying to arrest Tovar, instead of trying to catch him they intended to kill him. 

An attorney representing the family says Tovar was denied his day in court and the officers should pay for what they’ve done.

In a graphic body-cam video shared last month San Jose police are seen opening fire on a wanted murder suspect.

David Tovar was running along the second-story balcony of the Villa Fairlane apartment complex on January 21st when he was killed.

“This was not a mission to bring somebody to a court of justice this was a mission to execute someone,” Adante Pointer said.

Adante Pointer is a civil rights attorney representing Tovar’s family in a lawsuit against the city of San Jose.

The suit claims the officers while using military-style assault rifles shot Tovar while he was presenting no threat to anyone.

A San Jose police spokesperson says Tovar was actually reaching for his waistband when officers shot him but Tovar was found to be unarmed following the shooting.

“This isn’t a situation where police are dealing with someone who was armed or taking hostages or has pointed a weapon at them or have even fired a weapon that them. this is the type of police situation which should result in everyone getting a chance to have their day in court,” Pointer said.

Officers were said to have been on high alert when pursuing Tovar because of his violent criminal history.

The 27-year-old was being investigated by police in Gilroy, Morgan Hill, San Jose and the CHP after he was linked to a number of robberies and two shootings including a murder.

The lawsuit demands the officers involved in the deadly shooting should be arrested and prosecuted.

“The community and the state has demanded that officers not use deadly force unless it is necessary. It was clearly not necessary when you have an unarmed man, running away from officers who was shot in the back,” Pointer said.

Pointer says those officers also put people living in the apartment complex at risk by recklessly shooting at Tovar.

San Jose police are not commenting on this lawsuit.

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