Friday, January 22, 2016

Afghanistan Veteran Tried to Change Outcome, Killed By Police

Widow Sues Police Who Killed Her War Vet Husband
Courthouse News Service
By JAMIE ROSS
January 22, 2016

PHOENIX (CN) - City police officers south of Phoenix needlessly shot to death an unarmed Army veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder, his widow and children claim in court.

Maria Garcia and her four children sued the City of Maricopa and two of its police officers, Sgt. Leonard Perez and Officer Joshua Hawksworth, on Tuesday in Federal Court.

Maricopa, pop. 48,000, is south of Phoenix in Pinal County.

Garcia says the shooting was particularly egregious, as two days before he was killed, her husband went to the Maricopa police station to offer to help the Police Department learn how to interact with veterans with PTSD.

Garcia met her husband, Johnathon Guillory, in 2005 when they were both in the U.S. military. Guillory had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in 2003 after he returned from a second tour in Afghanistan. They married in December 2008, and had two sons together. Guillory also had two children from a previous relationship.

His widow says that after going out on Jan. 18, 2015 to watch football and eat brunch, they returned to their home in Maricopa at about 1 p.m. Guillory went into the garage to listen to music.

At 2:30 p.m., an emergency call was made from Guillory's cellphone, but resulted in a hangup. After that call, "nearly every, if not every, on duty MPD officer decided to go to the Guillory residence to see what was happening," Garcia lawsuit says in the lawsuit.

She says the officers surrounded Guillory, who was standing outside his house, though he posed no threat and the officers knew "of his PTSD and sensitivity to being approached by police."
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