A Fort Worth man and his family said a police officer shot him five times in the back in 2020 while he was sleeping in a motel room.
Tracy Langiano still has debilitating injuries from the July 2020 shooting, according to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on July 1. The police officer who shot him, Officer Landon Rollins, was working on Fort Worth Police. The ministry’s mental health crisis response team when it shot Langiano.
Rollins reported that Langiano pointed a gun at him, and an internal investigation by the police department determined that Langiano pointed a gun. The family and Langiano dispute this claim, however, claiming that Langiano was asleep when he was shot.
In April 2021, Rollins was suspended for 15 days for violating several Fort Worth Police policies during the shooting. The lawsuit names the city of Fort Worth and Rollins as defendants.
The lawsuit says Rollins violated Langiano’s Fourth Amendment rights by using “unnecessary, unwarranted and excessive force,” and that the city provided inadequate training. The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages.
Rollins’ attorney said in a statement that Rollins is one of the most decorated police officers in the state and that he “attempted to contact Mr. Langiano, who is said to be suicidal, in order to try to prevent him from committing suicide “.
“It was only after Langiano pointed his gun at Officer Rollins that Rollins was forced to fire his own gun in self-defense,” lawyer Ken East said in the statement.
A spokesperson for the City of Fort Worth did not respond to requests for comment. The city does not generally comment on pending litigation.
‘Don’t catch it’
On July 28, 2020, Langiano was suffering from mental health issues, according to the lawsuit. He packed a small bag of things, including his licensed gun. At 3 a.m., he checked into the Express Inn room in the 8400 block of the West Freeway service road and fell asleep. Police later said Langiano wrote a suicide note.
Langiano’s son was worried about him and he called Fort Worth Police to ask someone to watch his father, saying he might try to injure himself. Meanwhile, Langiano woke up at the motel, went to a nearby gas station to buy food, called his son to let him know he was okay, and fell asleep again.
He was lying on his left side, with his back to the door, and the gun was in a holster on the bedside table, depending on the costume.
Rollins and two other officers from the Crisis Response Team attended the motel for a welfare check on Langiano at his son’s request. According to the Fort Worth Police Department, the CIT team’s primary goal is to reduce “dangers associated with interactions between law enforcement and people with mental illness.”
Rollins obtained a key card to Langiano’s room and, without knocking or announcing himself, unlocked the door with his drawn gun, according to a disciplinary report from the Fort Worth Police Department. A deadbolt was through the door and, still without announcing himself as an officer, Rollins walked through the door. Video released by the police department showed the next 20 seconds from the officer’s body camera behind Rollins.
The video shows within three seconds, Rollins pushes into the dark room, turns to his left and begins to speak before stopping dead.
“No, no, no,” Rollins says in the video. “Firearm!”
Rollins takes a step back and begins to shoot. He shoots six times, shooting Langiano five times, according to the disciplinary report. In the video, the interior of the hotel room is not visible.
“Don’t catch it,” Rollins said three times at the end of the 20-second video.
Langiano “had not turned around, was not facing Rollins, had no weapon and was not looking for his weapon in its holster,” according to the lawsuit.
An internal investigation determined that Rollins violated several policies when he shot Langiano, but none of those violations were for him to shoot Langiano. According to the disciplinary report, Rollins violated Fort Worth Police Department policy by not wearing a police uniform and advertising himself as an officer, by not wearing a body camera and by breaking into the room. piece without warrant. Video shows Rollins wearing civilian clothes and a police bulletproof vest.
He was suspended for 15 days without pay for these violations.
A grand jury declined to indict Rollins in connection with the shooting, a spokesperson for the police department said.
The CIT team
Rollins was named the 2017 Fort Worth Police Service Officer of the Year and worked with the service for six years. He no longer works for the department, a police spokesperson said.
In 2019, Rollins spoke to Team CIT’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram after the team responded to a call from a father who told Fort Worth Police that his son may be planning a mass shooting.
At the time, Rollins said that CIT’s main objective in Fort Worth “is to prevent the next mass shooting from happening within our city limits and in our county.”
Team members are undergoing mental health training and have recovered 325 guns from people who may have threatened themselves or others since the team was formed in August 2017, Rollins said at the time.
According to the City of Lake Worth website, he is now the Field Operations Commander for the Lake Worth Police Department.
Lake Worth Police Chief JT Manoushagian sent the following statement regarding the lawsuit against Rollins:
“LWPD is aware of the civil lawsuit which has been brought against Commander Rollins for actions taken as a member of the Fort Worth Police Department. Prior to joining LWPD, Commander Rollins underwent a thorough background check where the details of this incident were carefully reviewed by our investigators. A Tarrant County grand jury also reviewed the case and found no evidence of wrongdoing. After his honorable release from the Fort Worth Police Department, Commander Rollins was hired by LWPD. We are not a party to this lawsuit and we ask all concerned to respect the privacy of those involved. “