The family of Malcolm Gracia is suing the city of New Bedford and its police department for Massachusetts wrongful death. The family claims that the 15-year-old was wrongfully detained in 2012 and he was shot without justification. They believe he was a victim of racial profiling.
Detectives detained the teenager after a police sergeant witnessed him on a video feed making what appeared to be a gang handshake. The family’s lawyer claims that the defendants targeted Garcia because of his socioeconomic and racial profile even though he wasn’t caught committing any crime.
Gracia tried to run from the police. However, as Detectives Tyson Barnes approached him, Gracia stabbed the officer three times. Another detective, Paul Fonseca, fired his Taser at the teen, who went down but refused to drop his knife. That was when Gracia was shot multiple times.