The family of a U.S. Marine Corps veteran has requested a $3.5 million federal lawsuit against the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office for allegedly withholding evidence that may have helped her son.
Cortez Hernández-Bello’s father, who was born in Mexico, was shot to death by sheriff’s deputies in December.
The sheriff’s office has not said why the suspect fired.
“This is a very sad situation and I’m hoping that my daughter can get some relief,” Cortez Harnóndez said.
“I’m hoping her story will help other families that are in similar situations.”
The lawsuit claims the sheriff’s department withheld documents related to her son’s heroin addiction and withheld information from him, such as the names of the people he was visiting.
Hernánges-Bella said the family has hired a lawyer, but no one is available to speak on the record.
She said she plans to hire a private investigator to look into the matter.
“I’m going to go to court.
I want justice,” she said.
Caldwell said the county sheriff’s investigation began with a complaint filed in June by a former neighbor, who said he was asked to testify by the sheriff.
He said deputies were not allowed to speak with him about the case, according to a police report.
“The sheriff’s deputy in charge stated that the suspect did not show up to work and that he was not there at the time of the incident,” the report states.
“He said that when he came to work, the suspect was gone.”
Caldwin said he has filed a complaint against the sheriff and will also file a complaint with the state attorney general.
Harnóntez-Bezos is one of at least 20 families in Arizona whose loved ones are in jail due to opioid addiction.
Arizona is one the states that has been among the top recipients of opioid treatment for heroin addiction, according a 2016 report by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
More than 2,000 people have died in Arizona in 2016.
The lawsuit also names the sheriff, deputy Richard DeBlasio, the U.F.L.E., the sheriff of Coconino County and the Coconín County Sheriff Department.
It is seeking unspecified damages for wrongful death, medical costs, emotional distress and punitive damages.