Man sues Boulder after police fatally shoot son
The father of a Boulder man says a police officer should have used de-escalation techniques rather than shoot and kill his naked son who was hallucinating on LSD while wielding a hammer.
The civil lawsuit was filed Monday on behalf of the estate of Samuel Forgy and his father, Glen Forgy, by Denver civil rights attorneys David Lane, Eleanor Wedum and Kathryn Stimson.
Forgy, who says his son was not a threat, is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages and attorney’s fees from the city and county of Boulder and police officer Dillon Garretson.
Boulder officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
On July 27, 2015, Forgy was acting peculiar while on a LSD and marijuana high when he began muttering nonsensically and sweating profusely. He vomited and returned to his room. At 10 p.m. he emerged from his room totally nude and proclaimed he was the messiah.
He picked up a chair and smashed it against a wall. His roommates wrestled him to the floor.
When he calmed down, they let him up and he grabbed a kitchen knife. His roommates tried to contain him again and he slashed Bennett Cosgrove on the forehead and chin, the lawsuit says. One of the roommates called police, explaining that Forgy was out of his mind on drugs, the lawsuit says.
Several officers protected with a riot shield responded to a call that 22year-old Forgy had stabbed his roommate and was in a frenzied state.
When four police officers climbed to the first landing of the apartment and called for him to come out, the 128-pound Forgy, completely naked, initially complied. He then picked up a hammer, the lawsuit says. Garretson was at the rear of a diamond formation.
About a second after a fellow officer fired a stun gun at Forgy, Garretson fired five gunshots. Forgy was hit four times in the chest and forehead, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit claims Garretson used excessive force and that Boulder failed to properly train Garretson and other officers on de-escalation strategies. Forgy’s death was the result of a broader custom and culture of excessive force, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit cites other instances of Boulder officers using deadly force including on Nov. 24, 2013, when Michael Habay — who was having a severe mental health crisis — was shot and killed while trying to run away from police.