ARVADA, Colo. (KDVR) — Kathleen Boleyn, the mother of John Hurley, the “good Samaritan” who was killed by police during the Olde Town Arvada shooting one year ago, has filed a lawsuit against the Arvada Police Department.
“It’s not what they did, it’s what they didn’t do,” Boleyn said.
According to the lawsuit filed on June 22, Hurley died needlessly because Arvada police officers failed to confront the active shooter, they failed to verify that Hurley was a threat, and an officer failed to announce himself before shooting Hurley from behind.
“There’s absolutely no question that had they followed the law and given him an announcement on that day, Johnny Hurley would have dropped the weapon and we would have celebrated Johnny Hurley’s acts rather than mourning the way we are now,” Boleyn’s attorney Omeed Azmoudeh said.
Chief of Police Link Strate and former officer Kraig Brownlow are specifically named in the lawsuit. Brownlow is the officer who shot and killed Hurley. In November of 2021, the Jefferson County District Attorney announced that Brownlow would not be charged with the shooting.
According to the lawsuit, Strate also bears legal responsibility because he oversees and approves of Arvada’s unlawful policies and training that led to Brownlow’s unconstitutional conduct. In addition to the constitutional claims, Brownlow is also liable under state law for wrongful death, the lawsuit states.
“Under these circumstances, it was unlawful to use deadly force against Johnny, who was merely unloading a weapon and not posing any threat whatsoever. Even more egregiously, Officer Brownlow shot and killed Johnny without any warning or command. The contrast between Johnny’s actions and Officer Brownlow’s actions could hardly be more stark. Whereas Johnny ran toward an active shooter with an assault rifle, Officer Brownlow shot Johnny in the back without so much as a warning,” a release from Azmoudeh states.
The City of Arvada sent out a statement Wednesday and hinted that the lawsuit may be mischaracterizing the incident.
A Critical Incident Response Team investigation found that APD Officer Brownlow’s actions were both reasonable and justified. The APD is not considering changes to its actual training or response protocols at this time.
Brownlow resigned from the APD in good standing.
Below is the City of Arvada’s full response:
The City of Arvada is aware of the lawsuit filed against Arvada Police Department (APD) members, which was previously announced to the media by the Law Firm of Rathod Mohamedbhai.
We would remind the public that the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office thoroughly reviewed the facts in this case after an independent investigation by the First Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT). In November 2021, District Attorney Alexis King found that APD Officer Kraig Brownlow’s actions were both reasonable and justified under the circumstances.
Based on the District Attorney’s findings and after an internal review, the APD found that Officer Brownlow’s actions were consistent with APD policy and procedures. The APD is not considering changes to its actual training or response protocols at this time.
After the district attorney announced her findings, Officer Brownlow resigned from the APD in good standing.
The events of June 21, 2021 were caused by Ronald Troyke, an individual that harbored an unfounded hatred toward police officers. When civil litigation is announced by a plaintiff’s attorney in a manner that mischaracterizes and omits select information, it has the potential to compromise officer safety.
We stand by every member of the APD. We are confident that any mischaracterizations will be resolved in court.”City of Arvada
What happened during the shooting?
On June 21, 2021, a man targeted, ambushed, and killed Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesley in Olde Town.
Hurley shot Troyke five times with a 9mm handgun and killed him.
Officer Brownlow then shot and killed Hurley, mistaking him for another shooter.
“Based on the facts, this officer had reasonable ground to believe Hurley was a second mass shooter,” District Attorney Alexis King said.
Brownlow, the officer who shot and killed Hurley, was not charged.
Hurley remembered as giving, brave
One of Hurley’s friends said Hurley would give the shirt off his back to anyone who needed it and described him as an everyman, who would work more than 100 hours a week as a caterer.
Cody Souels, who went to high school with Hurley, said he would want to be known for being “outspoken” and doing difficult things.
“That doesn’t surprise me. I mean, he seems like he would stand up for somebody if there was something going on,” Souels said.
“Johnny was the kind of guy that would think of everyone but himself first, always. It wouldn’t matter what the situation was,” said Cole Crocker, who used to work with Hurley at All Love Catering before the business shut down during the pandemic.
Hurley would be willing to work 100 hours per week to make sure everything was perfect for the weddings and events he handled, according to Jenn Masak, who worked with Hurley at the catering business.