Attorney plans to file lawsuit, man shot and killed by Milford Police
MILFORD, Del. – Thomas Neuberger, the attorney for Brandon Robert’s family, sat down with 47 ABC on Friday to talk about why he plans to file a lawsuit after Roberts was shot and killed by Milford Police.
Neuberger claims Roberts was having a mental health crisis and called police. He adds that had the officers been properly trained in de-escalation techniques, that maybe Roberts would still be alive. “This was a mental health crisis and the police appeared to be totally untrained on how to respond to a mental health crisis,” says Thomas Neuberger, an attorney with The Neuberger Firm.
Neuberger plans to file a lawsuit, at the very least, against the Milford Police officers involved in shooting and killing Brandon Roberts on January 5th, 2020. “I see the signs. That’s why I’m saying it’s troubling here. He did not have a gun.”
Although he didn’t have a gun, Roberts did have a knife. On that night his fiancee, Erica Jones, says that Roberts called the police himself before she took the phone explaining that he was having a mental breakdown and was off his meds.
But when police arrived, they claim the 27-year-old lunged toward them causing them to fire in self-defense. However, that’s not the story Neuberger says he’s heard from neighbors. “The police say either ‘raise your hands’ or ‘drop the knife’ something like that. Then I have affidavits from all the people, three or four neighbors as well as Erica, who said the police then instantly opened fire.”
Ultimately, Neuberger says the real facts will come out once he hears the 911 call and watches the officers’ body cam footage as well as the hallway security video. But he’s confident that police acted in the wrong. “That will be the best evidence of course. How much he was given and whether he was dangerous or how at all police officers would feel threatened for their life when a person simply has a kitchen knife.”
What this all comes down to, according to Neuberger, is how the officers were trained to react in a situation like this. “Just step back and talk him down. That’s how they are supposed to be trained. Are they trained like that in this rural municipal police force? That’s something we will be finding.”
So he’s turning to the Delaware Attorney General asking that they conduct and independent investigation because he’s doubtful when it comes to the Delaware State Police investigation. “I’m not assured that their conclusion will be anything other than a police cover up or it will be fair or not. The jury is out on that. I certainly hope.”
47 ABC reached out to Delaware State Police who are investigating the shooting. They released this statement that reads, “The investigation into this case continues … We are going to stay within the four corners of our initial press release.” In that press release, they claim the shooting was in self defense.
Meanwhile, the City of Milford passed our request for comment on to Milford’s Police Chief who says they haven’t seen the Attorney’s litigation yet and he can’t comment. The Attorney General’s Office confirms with 47 ABC that this incident will be investigated and a public report will be issued as with all other “use of force” incidents.
To see our previous coverage on this story, click here.