Friends and family of Colby Friday, a Stockton father who was fatally shot by a Stockton police officer last summer, gathered on Saturday to commemorate the one year anniversary of his passing.
They began the day recreating the final minutes of Friday’s life.
“You put the public in danger by firing so many shots, that you literally shot across the street, you miss your target, and you put two apartments, two families in danger,” said one man, a family friend, who spoke at the site of the shooting.
Denise Friday Hall, Colby’s mother, described her son as, “a good person. He was a good father. He was a good provider. He had two jobs. He helped his mother. I am a widow.”
She says he put a premium on education. So much so that at the gathering at a Stockton park, they gave away 100 back packs to needy kids in honor.
But they also took the opportunity to bring attention to a wrongful death lawsuit filed this week against the City of Stockton, the Stockton Police Department and Officer David Wells, the cop who fatally shot Friday.
“Today, I am feeling sad, because my son is gone and he was taking by the hands of Officer David Wells,” said Hall, fighting back tears. “They hurt, and killed and destroyed a brother, a father… and our family is truly still devastated.”
Last August, officers spotted Friday, who they say matched a suspect description. When police tried to make contact, they say Friday took off running. Cops allegedly told Friday to stop or they would shoot. And they did. Officer David Wells fatally shot Friday several times in the back.
Stockton police alleged Friday is a known gang member, and that he had was armed with a hand gun.
The family refutes many of those claims and says officials haven’t been forthcoming with all the details in the case.
“This lawsuit is saying that the City of Stockton and the Stockton police have known for a long time of police officers, who are violent, and they have not taken any action to prevent future harm,” said Yolanda Huang, a lawyer for the family. “So, what they’ve done is they have kept all the evidence and not shared any of it. I don’t believe anyone has even seen a police report.”
By filing a federal lawsuit, attorneys will be able to surpass California state law, which considers certain information confidential or private, such as interviews with officer wells.
“What are you hiding? If we are doing something wrong, prove it,” said one of Friday’s supporters at the gathering.
Stockton police told CBS 13 News that they, “cannot discuss pending litigation.”
CBS 13 News also reached out to Stockton’s city attorney but did not get a response.