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Family of Vincent Truitt files $150M lawsuit against Cobb County in death of teen


In July of 2020, 17-year-old Vincent Truitt was killed when a Cobb police officer shot him. The parents of Truitt recently announced they have filed a $150 million lawsuit against Cobb County and the officer who killed him.

Submitted in federal court in the Northern District of Georgia, the suit for Andrae Truitt and Venethia Cook alleges wrongful death and civil rights violations in their son’s death. The suit seeks $50 million each for Truitt’s mother, father, and estate.

“My son was unjustly shot in the back by a Cobb County police officer named Max Karneol,” said Truitt’s father. “In what world do you just shoot a kid in the back and get away with it?” asked Truitt’s mother.

It was nearly a year ago when a Cobb grand jury found the use of force by the officer who shot Truitt to be justified. At that time, District Attorney Flynn Broady, who said it would be his policy to follow a grand jury’s recommendation in any officer-involved shootings, affirmed he would not press charges in the case saying the grand jury ruled the shooting was authorized because Truitt had a gun.

According to a Georgia Bureau of Investigation report that was released, Truitt was one of three teens in a stolen car during an attempted traffic stop on July 13, 2020. The car fled and later stopped at a dead-end behind a building at 270 Riverside Parkway off Interstate 20, south of the Riverside EpiCenter in Austell. Truitt and one of the car’s other passengers ran, the GBI said. Cobb County police officer Max Karneol shot Truitt after the Fulton County teen “brandished” a handgun while fleeing, per the GBI release. He was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in critical condition and died the next day.

At the time, Truitt’s family called on Cobb County leaders to file charges against Karneol, fire Cobb Police Chief Tim Cox, and release video captured by the body cameras of officers who were present when Truitt was shot.

The family maintained that the video would prove Truitt never brandished a weapon and that the officer had no reason to fear for his life or shoot the teenager.

In November 2020, former Cobb DA Joyette Holmes shared the video with Truitt’s family. Both Holmes and current DA Flynn Broady, who took over the role of DA in January 2021, resisted calls to release the video at the time, citing an exemption to the state’s open records laws that allow the government to withhold information pertinent to a pending investigation. 

In February 2021, Broady’s office announced that a grand jury ruled the shooting was “authorized,” said Truitt had a gun. Broady said he considered the case closed. 

In March 2021, a police video related to the shooting was finally released to the public. The video showed Truitt getting out of the car and running away. Something was in his hand, but the object could not be seen clearly. 

Jackie Patterson, an attorney for the family, said at the time that they had been “hoodwinked” by Broady, arguing he had failed to properly present the case to the grand jury. In filing the suit, the family continues to hope for criminal action from Broady’s office against Officer Karneol. Calls for Chief Cox to resign have ceased as Cox retired at the end of the year after 36 years of service to the Cobb County Police Department.


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