AUSTIN (KXAN) — The parents of Jordan Walton, a man killed by Austin Police officers during a hostage situation in Feb. 2021, filed a lawsuit on Feb. 1 against APD and several police officers involved in their son’s death.
Plaintiffs Anissa Stovall and Terrell Walton said in the lawsuit Jordan “experienced severe mental health symptoms, including paranoia” and he received new medication two days prior to his Feb. 10, 2021, death “that had an unexpected effect on him.”
According to information provided by APD at the time, the incident began after Jordan crashed a car into a home in the 2900 block of Rogge Lane. The department claims Jordan then broke into another home in the area and took a woman and her 10-year-old child as hostages.
SWAT was called to the scene and APD attempted negotiations with Jordan. He exited and re-entered the residence multiple times, each time using a 10-year-old child as a human shield, according to the Travis County District Attorney’s Office.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs said they and a friend of Jordan’s told officers about his mental health during the incident. They claim that, despite APD policy, “specially trained negotiation officers and mental health officers were not called to the scene.”
APD officer Ryan Nichols fired the fatal shot during one of these exits, as evidenced by body camera video.
The family claims Jordan, at that time, was pointing his gun “upward in a gesture of surrender.”
“Ranking officers on scene approved and/or ordered the officer to kill Jordan Walton although
they were aware of his mental health status and his attempts to negotiate a peaceful resolution
with officers,” the lawsuit reads, “An Austin police officer was heard to say Jordan Walton deserved no mercy because an officer had been injured.”
Nichols and APD officer Jeffrey Hutchison were placed on administrative leave after the incident. Investigations were conducted into the shooting, culminating in a grand jury declining to indict the officers and finding their actions to have been justified.
Besides the City of Austin, the lawsuit also includes Nichols, Hutchinson, their commanding officers (unnamed in the lawsuit), two other unnamed APD officers and former APD Chief of Police Brian Manley as defendants.
Plaintiffs said the killing of their son caused mental anguish, which at one point led to Stovall’s hospitalization.
The family has requested a jury trial to seek punitive and compulsory damages.
The full lawsuit can be read below: