Cousin of man killed by Norfolk Police: ‘It’s a step closer into the justice that we’re seeking’

Posted at 12:06 AM, Aug 27, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-27 00:06:09-04

Norfolk, Va. - Shawna Johnson’s cousin Joshua Johnson was killed by Norfolk Police after trying cash a bad check at a Ghent bank in the spring of 2013.

"A year can go by, two years, it's still the same. It doesn't, the sting doesn't go away, that hasn’t subsided yet. I don't foresee it happening because it hurts when someone's taken from you. It hurts,” says Johnson.

Today a federal judge dismissed Norfolk Police's attempt to throw out an excessive force suit against the department.

"You have some that will take things and twist it to make themselves look better and I'm just thankful the judge was able to see beyond that and really see there was wrongdoing here,” says Johnson.

Police had said Johnson backed his car up, knocking over officer Matt Williams as Williams and another tried to stop Johnson from getting out of the bank drive-through.

That story is greatly different from the facts brought down from the judge.

Who found Johnson didn't run over officer Williams, instead Williams was shot by the other officer.

"When did it start to unravel in your mind and you said something is more than not right here?"

"When I heard it, initially when I heard it, I knew because I know how good of a person he was."

The Johnson family is suing the department believing the way police went about the arrest put them in a position to shoot Johnson.

Something the judge agreed with.

"It doesn't bring him back but it's a step closer in to the justice that we're seeking. So it was a positive movement forward."

Police would not comment on the judge's finding and wouldn't explain why they are so far removed from what the department initially said.

Surveillance video from the Wells Fargo would help shed light on that, but the department will not release the tape.