MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The family of a shooting victim whose body was found in a police impound lot weeks after his death is taking the city to court.
The body of Bardo Hernandez was found in a van at the Memphis Police Department impound lot after he was shot during a robbery in December, according to WREG.
Police had overlooked his body for 49 days.
Hernandez’s family filed a lawsuit Thursday, saying his life was in the department's hands, and they didn’t do enough to potentially save him.
“I don’t understand why we’re here today still wondering who’s going to make it right for this family,” said attorney Murray B. Wells with Wells and Associates.
It all started when at least six officers responded to a shooting on Yale last December. They found Hernadez’s friend, Pablo Castor, shot at the scene, but didn’t find Hernandez in the back of Castor’s van until Castor’s wife showed up to the impound lot six weeks later.
“What in the world is going on at the impound lot?” Wells said.
Attorneys for Hernandez’s family said at least 19 officers came in contact with the van.
The medical examiner said Hernandez might have lived, had he been found the night of the shooting and given medical attention.
“Who’s going to give us answers on how you leave a man to bleed out in the back of a van?” Wells said.
The lawsuit demands those answers and seeks $300,000 for Hernandez’s family. It’s the most a plaintiff can get for suing a government entity in Tennessee in a case like this.
Wells said the family is now struggling and living in poverty without Hernandez.
Attorneys said they tried to settle with the city right away but didn’t get a response until August.
“We’re going to go find the answers that the city seems to refuse to find.”
The city has 30 days to respond to the suit and told WREG they can’t comment on pending litigation.