An independent autopsy showed that Manuel Terán’s hands were up when police shot and killed him during a demonstration in January.
According to a statement released Friday, Teran’s family filed a lawsuit against the city of Atlanta under the Georgia Open Records Act, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The family decided to sue after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation prohibited the city from releasing additional video evidence in the case.
“GBI’s interference left the family no choice but to file a lawsuit against the City of Atlanta,” the statement read.
The incident occurred on January 18 when Teran and other activists sat in a wooded area that is the site of a possible 85-acre police training center known as ‘Cop City’. The shooting, which is now fraught with controversy, took place when several law enforcement officers tried to remove the activists from the scene.
Officials say Teran fired first, and a gun found at the site was linked to a 2020 purchase by Teran. But now, the autopsy, which was funded by Teran’s family, shows conflicting evidence.
According to family lawyers, the autopsy showed that Terán was likely sitting cross-legged when he was killed, and both hands showed “exit wounds” on the palms, implying that his hands were raised and empty.
The family’s lawyer, Jeff Filipovits, claims that the GBI has only released certain evidence to paint a false narrative.
“The GBI won’t even tell us what kind of evidence they have. Now, it says that the city of Atlanta cannot release the public records requested by Manuel’s family,” he said in the statement on Friday.
“Imagine that the police killed your child. And now imagine that they are not going to tell you anything. That is what we are going through,” added Terán’s mother, Belkis.
The family plans to hold a news conference Monday to expand on the details of the autopsy and their lawsuit against the city of Atlanta.