North Texas Daily

Legal battle looms over UNT following police shooting of Ryan McMillan

Legal battle looms over UNT following police shooting of Ryan McMillan

February 12
13:58 2016

Dalton LaFerney | News Editor


Updated Friday, Feb. 19

The parents of Ryan McMillan, the sophomore who was shot and killed by UNT police on Dec. 13, have hired an attorney to challenge whether the officer’s decision to shoot their son was constitutional.

Renee Higginbotham-Brooks, an attorney based in Fort Worth, is representing Gina McMillan-Weese and Walt McMillan in the search for answers surrounding their 21-year-old son’s death.

The attorney announced Friday there will be a news conference at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23 at the Springhill Marriott in Denton  to “present new evidence” in the case.

Neither the police investigating the shooting nor university officials, including university president Neal Smatresk, will answer their questions. Police did, however, release some of the police camera footage showing what happened.

McMillan, who had just finished his first semester at UNT, was killed on the corner of Oak and Fry streets when he “advanced on” UNT police Cpl. Stephen Bean.

What’s in contention is whether Bean used the proper amount of force or if he moved too hastily to shoot McMillan, rather than use a taser or pepper spray, the attorney said.

Higginbotham-Brooks has more than 30 years of legal experience and most recently won $1.8 million in a wrongful death case, according to her website.

The UNT legal team has appealed all information requests to the Texas Attorney General’s Office because the university does not want to reveal anything — including details of UNT use-of-force policies — ahead of the results of the investigation by the Texas Rangers. The Rangers will try to determine whether Bean was justified in shooting McMillan.

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