Video above shows attorney Nabih Ayad (front), l to r Kenneth Reed, Kimberly Davis and Yolanda McNair of P.O.S.T., Yvette Johnson holding Terrance Kellom’s infant daughter Terranae, Nelda Kellom, Kevin Kellom
Lawsuit says police, prosecutor conspired in cover-up; that Terrance was in custody, had hands up, no hammer when gunned down
‘Why did you fucking shoot?’—Detroit cop to ICE agent Mitchell Quinn
‘They can’t print enough money that would compare to my son; they need to be in prison’—Father Kevin Kellom
“Feet to Fire” protest April 27, 2017 on 2nd anniversary of Terrance Kellom’s death, from 1-3 pm at Frank Murphy Hall in downtown Detroit
By Diane Bukowski
April 13, 2017
DETROIT –“The police are not being held accountable,” Kevin Kellom, father of Terrance Kellom, told VOD April 12, regarding a wrongful death lawsuit his family filed in federal court April 6. The suit targets members of a federal task force that gunned down his 20-year-old unarmed son, a father of two, April 27, 2015, in front of his family, sparking mass protests.
“I want Kym Worthy to step down,” Kellom added. “She has refused to charge any officer held in any type of police murder. Now that she justified them killing my son in front of my face, there is no other way to go but a civil suit. But they can’t print enough money that would compare to my son. They need to be in prison.”
Prominent civil rights attorney Nabih Ayad filed the suit, naming Terrance’s mother Nelda Kellom as representative of his estate (seen in red in video above behind Terrance Kellom). Defendants are Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent Mitchell Quinn, and Detroit police officers Darell Fitzgerald and Treva Eaton, all part of the U.S. Marshall’s Detroit Fugitive Apprehension Task Force (D-FAT).
The suit charges that police conspired with the prosecutor to cover up the true circumstances of Kellom’s death, claiming falsely that he threatened cops streaming into his father’s home with a hammer after first pounding a hole in an upstairs closet and jumping into a first floor bedroom.
In fact, it says, Kellom was coming down the stairs, unarmed and already in custody with his hands up when Quinn gunned him down.
Kellom’s fingerprints were not found on the hammer, which was lying on the living room floor when he entered, only blood spray from his execution-style killing, says the lawsuit.
After sealing the Kellom autopsy report and other evidence for months, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy refused on Aug. 19, 2015 to bring criminal charges against Quinn. Quinn formerly worked for the Detroit Police Department but was suspended after facing brutality lawsuits and criminal charges there. He was hired six months later by ICE.
The autopsy report showed that Kellom had been shot four times, including once in the right lower back. Three other shots struck him in front, in his neck, chest, and thigh. Worthy said at a press conference that seven shell casings were found.
“This is usual with Kym Worthy’s office—stall the case, interfere with it, block evidence, and then dismiss any charges,” the late Cornell Squires of the Original Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality said during a protest after Kellom’s police execution.
“Kym Worthy cannot be trusted. You have to do your own independent investigation. We tried to encourage the family to get a second autopsy report, because we knew this was going to go down. Kym Worthy is for sale when it comes to police officers.”
The suit says Detroit cop Fitzgerald falsely told Terrance’s father Kevin and sister Teria that he had a search warrant in order to gain entry. In fact, he had an arrest warrant related to an alleged armed robbery, which did not allow access.
“Despite having an opportunity to prevent the shooting, Defendant Eaton waited until all shots were fired before she exclaimed ‘Why did you fucking shoot!’” the lawsuit adds. “Defendant Quinn then rushed out of the scene.”
Kellom said in agony, “I just don’t get it. How can they bring my son down the stairs and shoot him in my face? I live with this every day. I have no life anymore. I don’t go anywhere, and I’m not able to work. I’ve worked the majority of my life since I was nine years old; my dad taught me that. I barely allowed Terrance’s mother to whip him. But then this cop comes to my house and kills my son, before he even got to see his daughter born? I couldn’t kill his son and get away with it.”
Terrance Kellom’s children with Janay Williams are Terrance Desmond Kellom, now three, and Terranae Destiny Kellom, now two. They were at the press conference where Ayad announced the lawsuit April 6. Terrance Desmond is in front of Kevin Kellom, and Terranae Destiny is being held by Yvette Johnson, Kellom’s fiancée.
“Every time the door opens, he says, ‘There go Daddy, here come Daddy,’” Kellom said about his grandson. “He asks his mom almost every night, ‘When’s Daddy coming home?’”
Kellom said he suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD), for which he is on medication, and that Nelda Kellom’s health has also been adversely affected.
Kellom is now working with a group called “Protect Our Stolen Treasures” (P.O.S.T.), part of a national coalition of organizations seeking justice for families who have lost loved ones to police violence. It is headed by Yolanda McNair, whose daughter Adaisha Miller died after a Detroit cop’s gun went off as they were dancing together at a party in the cop’s home (seen behind Yvette Johnson in videos above.)
Other Detroit members include Mertilla Jones, grandmother of Aiyana Jones, killed by Detroit police at the age of 7 in 2011, and Kimberly Davis, mother of Kimoni “Kodak” Davis, killed in an Ohio state trooper chase (seen at left in videos above.)
They protested March 22 outside the Worthy’s headquarters at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice, demanding that she resign. Kellom says they will protest there again on the second anniversary of his son’s death, Thursday, April 27, from 1-3 pm.
PROTEST KYM WORTHY, FEDS AND DETROIT POLICE 2ND ANNIVERSARY OF TERRANCE KELLOM DEATH
THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 2017, 1-3 PM FRANK MURPHY HALL, GRATIOT/ST ANTOINE, DOWNTOWN DETROIT
Kellom family lawsuit vs. cops who killed Terrance Kellom:
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