Monday, September 25, 2023
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Indicted Officer Sued Civilly Too, for Death

ABERDEEN, Miss. (CN) — A Mississippi police officer awaiting trial on a manslaughter charge faces a civil lawsuit from the family of the black man he shot in the back after a traffic stop.

Canyon Boykin has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter for the October 2015 shooting death of Ricky Ball. Ball, 26, was shot twice in the back as he fled on foot, his father claims in the Oct. 14 lawsuit in Federal Court.

Ball's father sued Boykin, the City of Columbus, its police chief, and three other officers. He claims the shooting was unjustified and that Boykin had a history of making racist remarks, and of failing to activate his body camera "when engaging members of other races."

Ball's father, Ricky Martin, says his son was unarmed, and that a defendant Columbus police officer planted a gun at the scene.

Boykin, who is white, sued the city in February, claiming said in Federal Court that he was wrongfully fired, that Ball had a pistol, and that the shooting was in self-defense.

In his own lawsuit, Boykin says officers gave chase after pulling over the car in which Ball was a passenger for having no tag light. When Ball fled, Boykin says, he used a Taser on him, but the effects wore off and the chase continued.

Boykin says Ball appeared to point a pistol at him, so he shot him in self-defense.

Other officers found Ball dead and found a pistol and marijuana covered with his blood "within arm's reach of Ball," Boykin says in his lawsuit against the city. He says Ball ran because he was under indictment on drug charges, and had drugs on him.

Ball's father doesn't buy it. He claims police concealed and manufactured evidence "designed to obscure the true events surrounding the shooting."

"Despite City of Columbus, Mississippi police reports to the contrary, the decedent was unarmed. Therefore, the use of deadly force by the defendant Boykin was unjustified," Martin says in the complaint.

A grand jury indicted Boykin on a charge of manslaughter in September.

Ball's father seeks punitive damages for civil rights violations, wrongful death and negligence.

He is represented by Jeffery Navarro, of Amory, Miss.

Dozens of Columbus residents marched the streets last Saturday in honor of the one-year anniversary of Ball's death, a shooting that sparked anger and calls for police reform.

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