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Family Of Autistic 15-Year-Old Ryan Gainer Files Lawsuit After Sheriff Deputy Fatally Shot Him 

The family of Ryan Gainer, a 15-year-old autistic boy shot by San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies outside his Apple Valley home, has filed a wrongful death claim against the county. This claim indicates plans to sue over allegations of assault, battery, false imprisonment, negligence, and emotional distress. 

"Under no circumstances should a 15-year-old autistic boy with a gardening hoe be shot and killed without taking the time to calm the boy down before using deadly force," John Burris, a civil rights attorney who is among those representing the family, said in a prepared statement. "The police conduct was unreasonable."

Ryan, holding a gardening hoe mistaken for a weapon, was shot despite not presenting a clear threat. The incident, deeply protested by family, friends, and community members, has intensified concerns about police force use, especially against individuals with autism .

At the time, Ryan was distressed over a household dispute, and his family had called 911 for assistance, later attempting to cancel the request when Ryan calmed down. However, deputies arrived and fatally shot Ryan as he approached the door with the hoe. The shooting was captured on body camera footage, with deputies claiming it was a split-second decision in line with their training. 

"He was a super intelligent, kind, generous, respectable, thoughtful, funny, goofy, charismatic person, who always saw the good in people," his family wrote on a GoFundMe page dedicated to collecting funds for funeral expenses.

Ryan was shot while holding a gardening hoe mistaken for a weapon, which has raised significant concerns over the use of police force. The case has ignited debate on the police's handling of vulnerable people, with the family and community protesting the shooting and seeking justice for Ryan's death, which they argue was unnecessary and a result of hasty police action.

We'll continue to follow this story as more information comes out. Our thoughts are with Ryan Gainer's family.

Link: LA Times


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