BROWNSVILLE (July 22, 2013)--The City of Brownsville says the constitutional rights of a teenager whom police shot and killed in a middle school hallway, were not violated.
The denial comes in a response to a lawsuit filed last month by the parents of the 15-year-old boy who was shot to death last year at his middle school in Brownsville.
Attorneys for the city also say they believe the officers have immunity from the suit because the shooting was justified.
The federal suit filed by the family of Jaime Gonzalez, Jr. names the city of Brownsville and the officers involved in the January 2012 shooting.
The lawsuit alleges that officers did not try to calm the 15-year-old boy, came in shooting and that no one including Gonzalez was in ever danger.
The teenager was killed in January 2012 after police responded to a report that he had threatened another student with a gun.
The weapon turned out to be a pellet gun.
The officers found Gonzalez holding the gun in the front hall of Cummings Middle School.
They fired when Gonzalez, an eighth-grader at the school, refused to drop the weapon, which turned out to be a pellet gun.
A grand jury cleared the officers involved in the shooting.
A report released in February 2012 by the state attorney general’s office said a police sergeant gave the order to "take him out" when Gonzalez turned toward another student in a middle school hallway in January.
The report filed by Brownsville police said Gonzalez was holding a realistic-looking pellet gun when he turned toward the student who was trapped between him and the officers inside Cummings Middle School.
Officers shot Gonzalez in the abdomen and chest.
The report reflected earlier police statements that Gonzalez pointed the pellet gun at them, but also raises the possibility that he fired at officers.