Joshua Barre Family Plans To File Civil Suit

Thursday, August 24th 2017, 9:32 pm

By: News On 6

Joshua Barre's family notified the Tulsa County sheriff's office today; they plan to file a civil lawsuit over his shooting death.
Barre had two knives inside a convenience store when he was shot by police.

8/24/2017 Related Story: Tulsa County Sheriff Faces Lawsuit For Mentally Ill Man's Death

The district attorney announced this week the officers involved were justified.

The lawsuit claims the department didn't follow its legal duty to take Barre into custody on multiple occasions after receiving a warrant to bring him in for a behavioral health evaluation.  

Two sheriff's deputies and a Tulsa police officer shot Joshua Barre in June.  He had walked to a convenience store near MLK and 46th Street North with knives in his hands.

Dan Smolen, the family’s attorney, said, "it's not a justified shooting … there clearly should have been different action taken during the walk."

Smolen sent a letter to the Tulsa County Sheriff's Department notifying them of his plan to file a civil suit over Barre's death claiming the deputies violated Barre's civil rights.

6/26/17 Related Story: TPD Completes Investigation Into Joshua Barre Shooting

Smolen said, "people with a health condition deserve to be treated with a health condition, not corralled into a public area and shot."
Smolen also said the deputies had a prior relationship with Barre and his family. He says they knew he was part of the Tulsa County Mental Health court system.  

He said they went to where he was living on three occasions to serve a warrant to bring him in for a behavioral health evaluation, knowing of his erratic behavior.

"It was common for Joshua to walk in the neighborhood with knives and hammers because he was afraid of dogs that lived in the neighborhood," Said Smolen. 

He claims Barre's mother had been in contact with the Sheriff's Department and assured of his safety.

Smolen says it's the prior knowledge the sheriff's department had of Barre, and what he says is their negligent supervision and training, that ultimately led to his death.  

"It's really hard for the mom, their family has never experienced anything like this," Smolen said. 

The Sheriff's office says the department does not comment on pending litigation.  


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