Family taking legal action against city, IMPD after 13-year-old's death

Harry Taliefer (provided by family)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — The family of 13-year-old Harry Taliefer claims Indianapolis Metro Police failed to follow laws that would have protected him. Harry suffered fatal gunfire on Indy's east side while in the middle of an out of control disturbance.

The family is now letting the city know they plan to take legal action.

Family Attorney Terrance Kinnard said, "They are still struggling emotionally. Harry was a bright kid and had a bright future."

What they're claiming

Tiffany and William Conn adopted Harry on March 25, 2010. Tiffany is Harry's aunt and the adoption terminated the parental rights of his father and mother.

On May 31 of this year, Tiffany reported to police that Harry was missing from their home.

Tiffany then learned that Harry was with his biological mother, Shawnta Wilson, but did not know where. She claims the officers refused to take a missing person's report.

Later, the family learned where Harry was staying with his biological mother, and that police were called to that location several times.

The Conns claim that if Harry had been entered into the system as a missing person, he would have likely been found during one of those police runs.

Kinnard, the family's attorney, said, "Had law enforcement come in contact with 13-year-old Harry, then potentially, the tragic events of July 13 would not have occurred."

Harry's death

On July 12, 2018 there was a disturbance near 2260 Barnor Drive where Harry was staying with his biological mother.

According to the tort claim, at some point around 11 p.m. Harry was hit by a stray bullet when someone fired shots.

He died a short time later at the hospital.

Police originally arrested a woman for the shooting, but later dismissed those charges and released her.

Loss and demand

The Conns say they fostered Harry during a difficult time, and adopted him and three of his siblings.

They believe IMPD failed to follow Indiana law, leading to Harry's death.

"In no way do we think that their actions were intentional and that they wanted to cause harm to this child," said Kinnard.

In the legal notice sent to Corporation Counsel, which handles all legal claims against the city and county, the Conns ask for $700,000 in damages.

Eyewitness News reached out to the city Monday for a response to the Tort Claim. Corporation Counsel Andy Mallon confirmed he received the claim.

"We received the referenced Notice of Tort Claim this afternoon. We will review, evaluate, and respond as per our normal processes. Beyond that, we maintain our standing policy that we do not comment on pending claims."

There is still no arrest in the shooting death of Harry Taliefer. Anyone with information on the case can call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 317-262-TIPS.

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