Wrongful death lawsuit filed in 2019 Gary officer-involved shooting on heels of grand jury petition

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GARY, In. The family of an 82-year-old man fatally shot by Gary police officers in Nov. 2019 has filed a wrongful death lawsuit, the Times of Northwest reports.

According to the newspaper, Melvin Bouler, whose loved ones said was hard of hearing, did not possess a gun and was not intoxicated when he was shot by Gary police on Nov. 17, 2019, family members alleged. Police said Bouler failed to obey officer’s orders before the shooting.

The news comes after prosecutors in Lake County announced Monday their intent to seek a grand jury in connection with the officer-involved shooting.

WGN reported that Bouler was sitting in a vehicle in front of an apartment complex when officers arrived. Bouler was given several commands before an officer discharged his weapon and shot Bouler, police said. Family members told WGN News that Bouler was leaving when officers shot him in his car. 

According to authorities, Bouler, of the 2400 block of Roosevelt Street, died two months later, in Jan. 2020, at a Chicago hospital.

Lake County Prosecuter Bernard A. Carter announced Monday that his office would petition the Superior Court to convene a grand jury.

“Once the petition is approved, it will take approximately six to eight weeks to convene and select the grand jury,” Carter said in a statement. “Once the grand jury is selected, approximately one week later, witnesses will be called to testify. It may take multiple sessions before a decision is made by the grand jury.”

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office investigated the officer-involved shooting at the Gary Police Department’s request.

Click here to read the Times of Northwest full report.

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