Video: Former Officer Sues City, Makes Claims About City Councilman

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Columbus, Miss. (WCBI) — Former Columbus police officer Canyon Boykin has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Columbus. Boykin was a member of the Special Operations Group that was involved in the deadly shooting of Ricky Ball.

The lawsuit is meant to recover actual damages Boykin believes occurred when he was fired from the Columbus Police Department and for not being allowed due process.

“The chief had told him that the city council had made up their mind, either resign or you’re fired without ever hearing evidence or what had happened…”, said Boykin’s attorney Jim Waide, “…I think it’s pretty clear now about what happened but the damage is done…”

Boykin also gave his own account of what happened the night of the incident involving Ricky Ball.

Boykin claims members of the Special Operations Group attempted to pull over a car that Ball was riding in. Ball ran and then Boykin tased him. Boykin also said Ball fell to the ground and that’s when Boykin saw a gun in Ball’s right hand. Boykin backed up but Ball took off running.

Boykin claims Ball turned, as if he was going to shoot and that’s when the former cop shot Ball.

Waide said Boykin is looking to recover damages as well as return to the Columbus police department.

“He’s had threats on his life and he understands that it’s dangerous to work [in Columbus]…”, Waide explained, “…but other municipalities get frightened off by the bad publicity…”

“…So nobody will hire him, so they put him in a very precarious position all because he did what he was told to do…”, Waide said in reference to the department choosing Boykin as a member of the S.O.G. team.

The lawsuit also claims that the unauthorized passenger, who was Boykin’s now wife, was also given permission to ride in the vehicle by a superior.

Boykin also says the Special Operation group requested to arrest Ward 4 city councilman Marty Turner for using alcohol to excess, but a supervisor refused to allow them to do so because of Turner’s position.

When asked for his response to the claims, Turner asked for the officer’s body camera footage for proof of the incidents.

The claims also go as far to say Turner did not want the law strictly enforced in his district. Boykin also says Turner is prejudiced against members of the S.O.G. unit because, according to the court documents, “he identified with the persons breaking the law who resided in his district.”

“…I don’t like anybody that don’t follow the law…”, said Turner, “…I don’t like criminals, and I especially…am prejudice towards police officers that break the law.”

Boykin also claimed, under direction of Turner, the S.O.G. team would not patrol his Ward.

Turner said he wanted the S.O.G. team to use its resources to focus on heavier crime areas such as around Sim Scott Park. He also said that the S.O.G. team was “too aggressive” in certain neighborhoods within his Ward.

The city issued a statement saying in part, the lawsuit is premature because Boykin has not completed the civil service appeals process with the city.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation has not completed it’s investigation into the shooting.

To view the full federal lawsuit, click on the link:
Boykin Versus Columbus

Categories: Local News, Top Story

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