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Public Safety News
Attorney Randall Kallinen
News Release
Thursday, March 31, 2011

Family Files Suit Against Violent Houston Police Officer
and the City For Shooting and Killing Unarmed Loved One Multiple Times 

HOUSTON – One of the most violent Houston police officers, who has shot at people, mostly unarmed, with Tasers and guns OVER A DOZEN TIMES was sued in federal court along with the City of Houston--which has a long history of allowing and encouraging the use of violence against citizens through its failure to train or discipline it’s officers--for killing unarmed John T. Barnes, Sr., 39. Officer Ryan Gardiner should have been fired long ago for his long history of repetitive use of unjustified violence against citizens.

John was fatally shot as he left for work by off-duty Houston police officer Ryan Gardiner at the Woodland Hills Village apartment complex in August, 2009. Many witnesses claim at the time of the shooting Mr. Barnes had his hands in the air at a distance from Officer Gardiner. Despite all these witnesses and the physical evidence the Houston Internal Affairs Department cleared John Barnes as it has in the ONE HUNDRED plus previous shootings of civilians.  

Officer Gardiner had previously shot another unarmed citizen four times and shot at a moving vehicle when no officer was injured in any of these instances as in John’s killing. It was previously reported that Officer Gardiner used his Taser on citizens more than any other of Houston’s 5000 police officers.

John was shot and killed right in front of his wife, who along with John’s wife, children and father want to change how the City of Houston uses excessive force on citizens. 

The City of Houston has prevented release of John’s autopsy report, police report and witness statements in the case just as it has in many other cases. The family has been unable to obtain necessary information regarding the shooting and hopes this filing will bring attention to Houston Police Department policies and practices regarding excessive force, which are currently only investigated by their own department. In 2010, the City of Houston would not release a videotape showing the beating of 15- year-old Chad Holley, who was violently beaten by at least four Houston police officers as well as failed to release the video of several jail beating videos.

Attached is a copy of the lawsuit. 
Complaint



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