Family, Carrollton Police Disagree on Whether Officers Had to Shoot Armed, Mentally Ill Man

Relatives of a man fatally shot by Carrollton police Saturday evening claim that officers did not attempt to de-escalate the situation with the man, who they say was suffering a mental-health episode.An officer shot Sterling Durant Humbert, 28, after an attempted traffic stop led to a short pursuit. Officials have said he was advancing on them and refused to drop a gun. "Carrollton Police Officers are trained in de-escalation techniques and employ them daily," police Chief Derick D. Miller said in a written statement Wednesday afternoon. "Unfortunately, there are some situations such as this one that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving where de-escalation is impossible."But attorney Lee Merritt, who said the family had retained him to represent them in a planned federal civil-rights lawsuit, issued a statement earlier Wednesday that said officers could've avoided using lethal force. Merritt wrote that Humbert, a former soldier who was honorably discharged, developed an addiction after he started "self-medicating" with drugs and had "occasional run-ins with law enforcement." Because of this, Merritt said, police were aware that Humbert had paranoid schizophrenia.Police did not say if they knew of Humbert's mental health condition when they responded Saturday.During a recent schizophrenic episode, a family member called Carrollton police to Humbert's apartment, where Merritt said they used unnecessary force, including bringing "AR-15s and heavy munition" while belittling his mother for "babying" the man. Police did not comment on this incident.  Continue reading...

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