Mother of Teen Shot By Off-Duty Officer May Sue
(Memphis) The mother of a 15-year-old shot and killed by an off duty Memphis police officer says she’s getting justice the only way she knows how.
It’s been almost 8 months since Justin Thompson was killed and although the officer who shot him gave up his badge, he was not charged in the teen’s death.
The teen’s mother now has a new path to right what she says is wrong.
Shirley Thompson hasn’t been able to get answers from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation that handled the case, the Memphis Police Department or the District Attorney’s office so now she’s turning to the civil courts for justice.
“I want justice for my son you know. It’s like someone killed someone and they should be punished for it. This man is not getting punished just because he resigned from the job that’s not punishment,” said Thompson.
Thompson says the only way to find out what really happened to Justin is through a lawsuit, “Knowing that I’m trying to get to the bottom of this and I’m doing all I can for him. It makes me feel better just to know that I’m doing this for him.”
Thompson gave the On Your Side Investigators text messages between Shaw and her son the night he died.
News Channel 3 also obtained Shaw’s personnel and Internal Affairs Investigation file.
In that file, it said pictures of nude men were recovered from Shaw’s cell phone.
Thompson doesn’t feel like the criminal justice system treated her fairly so she hired Attorney Mark Renken.
Renken, said, “I’m going to do the absolute best I can to investigate this. Find out what happened. Find out what her options are legally to get some kind of justice for her son and for her loss.”
Renken says the first action he’ll take is getting a subpoena to open the secret case file at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
“The only witness so far that we know of is Mr. Shaw and his answers don’t seem to make any sense,” said Renken.
Renken is still deciding legally who might be targeted if a lawsuit is filed.
It could include Shaw, the city of Memphis and Memphis police.
Civil action comes as no surprise to the head of the police department.
Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said, “Certainly, when you have a young person and his hands have been taken at the hands of a police officer, it’s been pretty common. We’ve grown to expect a lawsuit in these instances.”
Similar lawsuits have yelled hundreds of thousands of dollars for victims’ families, if they’re successful.
However, Thompson insists this isn’t about money.
“Money it can’t bring my son back. I want him to be charged with murder of my son. It’s not all about the money,” said Thompson.