Mother sues Buffalo Grove over son's killing in confrontation with police

The mother of an Elgin man fatally shot during a 2021 confrontation with Buffalo Grove police officers is suing the village and police department, alleging the officers made no effort to de-escalate the situation or save her "clearly suicidal" son's life.

The suit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Chicago, seeks at least $50,000 in damages from the defendants, which includes the two officers involved and an unnamed emergency dispatcher.

Brian Howard, 25, was shot to death shortly after midnight Dec. 2, 2021, after officers responded to a 911 call about a man firing shots at Buffalo Grove's Mill Creek Park. Authorities later said it was Howard who made the call, during which he repeatedly requests that police respond with "lethal" force, described himself as a "bad dude" and wanted police to "end this."

Video of the confrontation taken from a patrol vehicle camera shows Howard firing two handguns into the air while walking toward the officers, who repeatedly tell him to stop and drop the weapons. Howard is then shot and later died from his injuries.

In August, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office announced it had determined the officers' actions were justified and they would not face charges.

But the suit, filed by Kristine M. Howard on behalf of Brian Howard's estate, alleges the officers could have taken actions to avoid the killing, such as using nonlethal options and waiting for more officers and the ballistic shields to arrive on the scene before confronting her son.

Instead, the suit alleges officers chose to rush out of their cars and scream conflicting commands at Howard.

"(The officers) had nonlethal options that they could have chosen to use, they instead chose to kill an innocent man who was suffering a mental health issue," the suit reads.

In an email Thursday, Buffalo Grove attorney Patrick Brankin said the village is aware of the lawsuit but does not comment on pending litigation.

A still image from Buffalo Grove police dashboard camera video of the fatal shooting of Brian Howard on Dec. 2, 2021. courtesy of Buffalo Grove Police Department
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