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What we think: Williamses’ lawsuit won’t settle anything

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The death of Trey Williams was tragic, and now we will have a trial to see if his family can get closure.

We are not surprised that the death one year ago of Trey F. Williams now will become part of the civic legal process as his family seeks to understand and accept his death at the hands of a Shelbyville Police officer.

Last Nov. 19, Mr. Williams was in his grandmother’s house when officers Suzanna Marcum and Frank Willoughby found him there while investigating a call about a potential prowler. A struggle ensued, and Ms. Marcum fatally shot Mr. Williams, 18.

We had been expecting that Mr. Williams’ family would sue the city and the officers about this case. We are a bit surprised that they didn’t do so earlier.

You likely have seen the video of that struggle and wondered as have we about how that situation might have been handled differently and its outcome become less tragic. We all have shared questions after the officer's shooting was ruled justified by a Shelby County Grand Jury.

Now we will learn more about what happened that day, about the individuals involved and the processes that led to this deadly conclusion.

A jury someday will decide how it interprets mounds of legal information and process, but that jury can’t undo three outcomes from that afternoon on Clifton Court:

  • It can’t make a hair-trigger decision in a moment of duress.
  • It can’t bring back Trey Williams.
  • It can’t ease the pain caused for everyone who has survived that shooting.

We as a community will go forward and learn more, but we doubt anyone will be satisfied with what happens in the end.