Family questions investigation after man, 82, fatally shot by police

After a great-grandfather was killed by Gary police, his family is now questioning the timing of an investigation happening more than a year after his death.

Video Transcript

- We've got to do what?

- We've got to fight back.

JESSE KIRSCH: Tonight, activists and the family of an 82-year-old Gary man, shot and killed by police, are demanding answers.

KWABENA RASULI: We don't know what police shot him. We don't know if they were put on desk duty.

- Yeah, yeah.

KWABENA RASULI: We don't know if they were fired.

JESSE KIRSCH: In November 2019, Gary police shot Melvin Bouler outside this condominium complex. Police say officers were responding to reports of a man with a gun. They say Bouler did not follow officers' commands, prompting them to open fire on Bouler's vehicle. He spent more than a month in the hospital before dying from his injuries.

ERIC BOULER: This incident was not of my father's character. He was not--

- Yeah, yeah.

ERIC BOULER: --a threat to anyone.

JESSE KIRSCH: Bouler's son Eric calls his father gentle and hard-working.

ERIC BOULER: He told us he believed in Gary. Unfortunately, this alleged allegiance cost him his life.

JESSE KIRSCH: In a federal lawsuit filed last month, Bouler's family claims he was shot at least seven times. They questioned why deadly force was used, claiming Bouler was unarmed and hearing-impaired.

- Now, you talk about things that cause communities to doubt and to lose confidence. This is one of those things. You haven't even identified the officers.

JESSE KIRSCH: Now the family is suing the city of Gary, the police chief, and the officers involved in the shooting, claiming wrongful death plus constitutional civil rights and other violations. The city of Gary declined to comment on pending litigation, and the police department has not responded to our requests for comment. The Lake County, Indiana, Sheriff's Office says it has completed its investigation of the shooting. And now the county prosecutor's office says it wants a grand jury to review the case.