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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The family of a woman shot and killed by a Florida state trooper is fighting for justice and their attorney will urge a criminal investigation in the case.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, trooper Ronald Melendez-Bonilla was conducting a traffic stop with 32-year-old Latasha Walton, who was driving a white BMW, when the situation escalated and the trooper opened fire. Troopers claim Walton was shot several times as she tried to flee the scene.
Her family said the trooper used excessive force.
Cell phone video captured the traffic stop near the Golden Glades Interchange in Northwest Miami-Dade after police said Walton was driving erratically. The video shows Walton hopping over a curb and around a trooper’s car. Several shots go off as Walton’s car rolls to a stop.
FHP said the trooper feared for his life.
The President of the Miami-Dade PBA said the trooper acted in self-defense because Walton accelerated towards him and he feared for his life.
The family’s legal representation says this case needs a criminal investigation into the officer using excessive force.
“It’s one thing if he’s going to justify the first bullet but then how do you justify the second and then the third and then the fourth and then the fifth and then the sixth,” said attorney Sue Ann Robinson.
The FHP explanation does not sit right with her family.
“I want to know how he was in danger for his life if the car was in front of him I want to know how,” said her brother, Alphonso Wright Jr.
Wright said the only thing that is getting him through this hard time is being with her kids.
“I can’t really sleep it’s so hard taking a hold of me, you know, but I got faith,” he said.
Walton leaves behind two children. The family has created a donation page on Facebook for Latasha in an effort to raise $10,000 for her children.