The heartbroken family of Secoriea Turner — an 8-year-old girl who was shot and killed by spray gunfire during Black Lives Matter protests in Atlanta last year — has filed a lawsuit against the city, its mayor, and other officials.
In the complaint filed in Fulton County State Court on Monday, Turner's grieving parents alleged that city leaders failed to protect their daughter amid the violent riots that rocked the city in the aftermath of Rayshard Brooks' death.
The complaint cited numerous failures by city leaders, "including that they were negligent in their duties by failing to remove armed vigilantes who had gathered alongside peaceful protesters at the Wendy's where Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed," according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
"We are forced to live through this day by day," Secoriea's mother, Charmaine Turner, said during a press conference announcing the lawsuit. "We deserve justice. Someone needs to be held accountable."
"There is no dispute that this little girl was innocent — that this family was innocent, did nothing wrong. On their way home, and they lost their little one," attorney Shean D. Williams of the Cochran Firm, which is representing the family, added.
Secoriea, who was a rising third-grader, was tragically killed on July 4 when she and her mother encountered a group of armed rioters who had blocked a street near where Brooks was killed. Police said the rioters opened fire on the vehicle as it tried to drive around the blockade, sending eight bullets into the car and striking Secoriea in the back.
News of her death made national headlines, especially after the young girl's parents delivered an impassioned rebuke of the killers following her death.
"They say black lives matter," the girl's father, Secoriya Williamson, said during a news conference. "You killed your own this time. ... You killed a child. She didn't do nothing to nobody."
"She was only 8 years old," the girl's mother said before breaking down in tears. "She would have been on TikTok dancing on her phone, just got done eating. We understand the frustration of Rayshard Brooks. We didn't have anything to do with that. We're innocent. My baby didn't mean no harm."
According to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, the complaint requests that the family receive financial compensation "in an amount to be determined" and a jury trial "on all claims so triable."
The crime occurred during a wave of elevated violence in the city. In the aftermath, residents have been calling on city leaders to take aggressive action to protect the public.
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