CINCINNATI -- A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a wrongful death lawsuit stemming from a 2011 officer-involved shooting death near Fountain Square.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael Barrett said Cincinnati police officer Oscar Cyranek was justified in shooting Davon Mullins in self-defense after the 16-year-old pulled a gun on the officer. The action left no grounds for the wrongful death and civil rights violations lawsuit filed by Mullins family, stated a memo sent to Cincinnati city council on Wednesday.
In 2012, an investigation cleared Cyranek of any potential wrongdoing in the incident.
The deadly confrontation occurred after Cyranek responded to calls of multiple teens seen with firearms leaving Sawyer Point during the annual Black Family Reunion.
The interaction between Cyranek and Mullins was caught on surveillance video and showed the teen resist the officer's search. A physical altercation began and lasted more than a minute, according to police at the time.
In the video Mullins was seen pulling a firearm from his pocket. Then Cincinnati police chief James Craig, who has since moved to Detroit, said Mullins' finger was on the trigger. At that point, Cyranek drew his firearm and shot Mullins two times in the chest. Mullins was then seen throwing his firearm in the air. Cyranek held Mullins at gunpoint while he retrieved the gun. Mullins was taken to University Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Mullins' family filed their federal lawsuit in May 2012 against the police officers involved in the shooting. It cites Cyranek and listed two other officers as only John and Jane Doe. The lawsuit Barrett dismissed said the unnamed officers are the ones who advised that several African-American individuals were seen with guns in the area of Sawyer Point.
The lawsuit contended that Mullins’ constitutional rights against unlawful search and for equal protection was violated by the officers. The suit also called for a jury trial and demanded an unspecified amount of damages from the officers.
"With all of the videos, the witness we have and for the city to just set that Cyranek person just scott-free, I just don't understand. I just don't understand," said Leona Mullins, Davon's mother after the decision.
On Wednesday, the Mullins' family attorney added the Mullins will continue to pursue their case.
"First of all, we are disappointed with the ruling," said Ben Maraan. "However, we do have the utmost respect for our judicial system and we look at this as not just as a one round fight. We lost the first round and there are several rounds to go and we do intend on appealing the decision."
CPD has argued Cyranek did not violate any department policies during the incident.