Oklahoma City, OK — As TFTP reported last year, a rather disturbing scene unfolded in Oklahoma City as police officers attempting to kill a robbery suspect opened fire on four small children, shooting three of them. For months, the family and residents demanded answers and the police remained silent. Now, after the police have refused to hold anyone accountable, the mother of the three children who were shot is seeking legal action int he form of a lawsuit.
The Free Thought Project has learned that Olivia Hill has filed a tort claim against the city of Hugo. The claim was filed last month against the city, in which Hill is seeking unspecified monetary damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish and emotional distress, current and future medical bills and counseling, and damages to the truck.
“The shooting was objectively unreasonable, unnecessary, and reckless or negligent, and the City of Hugo and other members of the (Hugo Police Department) were negligent in hiring, training, and supervising the Officers who perpetrated it,” according to the claim.
According to WPSD, medical records say a bullet pierced the left frontal lobe of 4-year-old Asia Jacobs’ brain. Her 5-year-old brother suffered a skull fracture and her 1-year-old sister was left with deep facial cuts. Asia’s 2-year-old brother was not hit.
The children’s mother, Olivia Hill, says: “Emotionally, they’re not OK. Physically, they’re here.” However, Hill notes that their injuries are substantial.
Not until six days after the shooting did police release any information as to what happened. While they have refused to elaborate on any video of the incident, we now know that the suspect William Devaughn Smith, 21, did not fire on police before police opened fire on the truck full of children. Also, we now know that police were in an unmarked car and not in uniform when they approached Smith.
According to police, they saw Smith in his pickup truck with the four children and when they made contact with him, they began shooting after they claim he tried to flee. Police claim that Smith attempted to run them over with the truck. However, as TFTP has reported on countless occasions, this defense is used all the time when cops could’ve simply stepped to the side and allowed the driver to leave — especially if there are four small children inside.
What’s more, according to the police report, Smith was backed up when he saw the plainclothes men pull out their guns and come after him. He then hit a pole in the parking lot and stopped.
Hill’s lawyer backs up this claim and says two Hugo detectives fired at least 26 shots into a stationary truck full of kids.
In May, police identified the officers involved as Hugo Police Department detectives Billy Jenkins and Chad Allen. Both of the officers were in an unmarked car and in plainclothes when they approached Smith.
The officers were put on paid administrative leave pending the investigation. However, a review of the shooting obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request shows a panel of five Hugo police officers and the Choctaw County sheriff found neither detective violated department policy.
Following the naming of the officers, District Attorney Mark Madoff said it would take him several weeks to review the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation report and determine whether detectives Billy Jenkins and Chad Allen committed crimes. However, it appears they have simply swept the case under the rug and are refusing to release any more details.
When asked asked about the probe after Hill filed the claim, Matloff declined to comment on the status of the “investigation” by OSBI.
OSBI spokeswoman Brooke Arbeitman said the report contains only facts learned by agents and “does not make any recommendation or whether or not to file charges.”
As we reported, during the shooting, police apparently didn’t care about or didn’t see the children in the pickup truck and so three of them were shot, along with Smith.
After shooting three children, police took to the press to point out the fact that not all of the children were shot as one of them luckily came out unscathed.
“I don’t know what these injuries are. And then one child, from what I understand was not injured,” said Virden.
“I mean my children, for crying out loud. Four innocent little children,” said Hill.
Tulsa attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons, who is representing the family, pointed out the obvious noting that if Smith saw two armed men coming at him in plainclothes, he likely had no idea they were police.
“If you don’t know if someone is law enforcement or not, it changes things,” he said. “I don’t know what happened, but that’s concerning to me.”
“They are terrified to go anywhere or hear anything,” Solomon-Simmons said of the small children. “The two-year-old keeps asking about ‘Am I going to get shot again.’ It’s a bad deal. The child who had a bullet in the brain, there’s some question now that she may have a permanent injury. She might be looking at a lifetime injury.”
“My 4-year-old daughter was shot in the head, and she has a bullet in her brain, and my 5-year-old has a skull fracture,” Hill said. “My 1-year-old baby has gunshot wounds on her face. My 2-year-old wasn’t touched with any bullets.”
According to The Frontier, investigation records show Jenkins has been involved in at least one other shooting in the past few years — the fatal December 2014 shooting of William Lee Honea, 33, in Hugo. That shooting was ruled justified by the district attorney, but like in this case, resulted in a civil lawsuit against the city of Hugo, Choctaw County and others that was settled in 2018 for an undisclosed amount of money.
“How am I supposed to tell my kids that the people who are supposed to protect them are the ones that shot them?” father of the children, Quin Jacobs said. We agree.
The city now has 90 days under state law to respond to the claim. If it does not respond, the claim is considered denied and Hill can then file a lawsuit against the city.