INDIANAPOLIS — Nearly two weeks after Carlos Trotter was shot and killed by a Lawrence Police officer, Trotter’s family is looking into suing the department.
Jeff Cardella, a criminal defense and expungement lawyer, shared a tort claim with FOX59. The claim cites several allegations including battery, excessive force, wrongful death, intentional infliction of emotional distress and others.
In the letter, Cardella states, “The family of Carlos Trotter suffered emotional distress as a result of the death.”
The letter was sent to the following people:
- Lawrence Police Chief Gary Woodruff
- Lawrence Mayor Steve Collier
- IMPD Chief Randall Taylor
- Director of Public Safety Karl Oltz
- Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett
- Indianapolis Public Subdivision
- ISP Superintendent Doug Carter
- Indiana AG Todd Rokita
Over the last nearly two weeks, Shirley Trotter has been struggling with the idea her son is really gone.
“The family of Carlos Trotter suffered emotional distress as a result of the death,”
”I just cry, cry, cry, it’s all I know,” Shirley said.
Shirley Trotter said she wakes up in the middle of the night and looks out the window, expecting to see her son outside.
Carlos was killed be a Lawrence Police officer in late October. Police said Carlos started a chase in a stolen car, he eventually crashed and police said an officer shot him when they saw Carlos had a weapon.
Police have not released what type of weapon Carlos had and his family denies him having any weapons.
”He is a good person, he’ll do anything for anybody,” Trotter said.
This began Shirley Trotter’s living nightmare but also her push for answers.
”I’ve been praying and hoping and hoping they find justice for my son,” she said.
Cardella, the lawyer the Trotter family has hired, was not available for interviews about the tort claim. Local Defense Attorney John Tompkins said the tort claim is no guarantee for a lawsuit.
”It’s not a forgone conclusion they will sue, frequently they do, sometimes it gets worked out in advance,” Tompkins said.
The claim simply puts those who are named in the document on notice that the family may file a lawsuit.
”It kind of serves the purpose of a preservation letter,” Tompkins said. “‘Hey, I’m suing you about this, don’t get rid of anything.'”
Lawrence Police Chief Gary Woodruff could not give an update on the investigation into the shooting but did send a statement.
“We have been made aware of a tort claim notice being filed by an attorney representing the family of Carlos Trotter. Our Legal representatives will work through that process, following all applicable laws. It would be inappropriate for us to offer further comment or information, pending the ongoing investigation, and legal process.”
The Trotter family is hoping to find some answers soon, they said Lawrence Police will be showing them the body camera footage of the shooting next Wednesday.
Shirley said she doesn’t have the strength to watch the video but knows what she wants to find out.
”That’s all I want to hear, that he did not do nothing because I know he didn’t,” Shirley said.
Shirley’s other children will be watching for her.
As for why it will take nearly three weeks for the video to be shown to family, Shirley has her thoughts.
”I think they’re trying to figure out what to say, because I think they made a mistake,” Shirley said.
Not only did Shirley lose her son, she also lost a kidney. Shirley said has heart and kidney failure, she had just gotten home from dialysis before we spoke to her Wednesday. Carlos was going to donate one of his kidneys to her.
Cardella said if anyone has any information that would be helpful or relevant to the case he would like them to reach out through his website.