Family of Melissa Perez filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the city and three officers.

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The suit claims that the San Antonio Police Department’s “formal and informal policies were the driving force behind” the 46-year-old woman’s death. It also asserts that Melissa Perez’s death was caused by the police department’s actions on mental health calls and the mental health unit.

Melissa Perez, who was fatally shot in her home by San Antonio police in June.

The complaint claims that the department’s “consistent failure to discipline its officers created a culture of tolerance for the improper and unconstitutional use of excessive force.”

The officers encountered Melissa Perez on June 23 after responding to a call about a woman cutting wires to a fire alarm system at her apartment complex, according to San Antonio Police Chief William McManus in a news conference shortly after the killing.

“It appeared that Ms. Melissa Perez was having a mental health crisis,” stated the chief.

According to McManus, after talking with cops outside, Mellisa Perez returned to her apartment and shut the door. When an officer attempted to open a window, Melissa Perez hurled a glass candleholder at him, according to McManus.

fire, but Melissa Perez was not struck and could be heard conversing on officers’ body camera video.

She then “advanced toward the window again while still holding the hammer, and all three officers opened fire,” according to McManus. She died on the spot.

The arrest warrant stated that Melissa Perez “did not pose an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death when she was shot because the defendants had a wall, a window blocked by a television, and a locked door between them.”

Melissa Perez’s family is now requesting compensation “in an amount appropriate with the harm done,” as well as to “address the improvements that need to be made, and then do the hard work required to ensure that Melissa Perez is the last person in San Antonio wrongfully killed by the police.”

The head of the San Antonio police union issued a statement expressing condolences to Perez’s family. McManus “followed all necessary protocols” in the days following of the incident, according to San Antonio Police Officers’ Association President Danny Diaz.

According to Dan Packard, the family’s attorney, Melissa Perez’s children, ages 9 to 24, have experienced “incomprehensible grief” since their mother’s death.

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