Archive for Thursday, May 2, 1991

MOTHER

May 2, 1991

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The mother of a 22-year-old Native American man who was shot and killed by Lawrence police said she is far from satisfied that justice has been served.

Orene Sevier of Lawrence said during press conferences Wednesday and today that the truth about the incident did not come out during a coroner's inquest into the death of her 22-year-old son, Gregory.

"I have lots of unanswered questions," she said.

Mrs. Sevier said that when she called police, she only wanted help for her son. She said the officers made no effort to understand the family's situation, but barged into the house and "just executed my son."

Mrs. Sevier testified during the inquest that she called police after her husband told her that their son was sitting on his bed holding a knife. She told a dispatcher that her son may have been arguing with his girlfriend.

Mrs. Sevier said the officers who came to the house seemed more concerned with their own safety than with helping her son. And after the shooting, she said, police were not respectful of the family's emotional needs.

"We weren't even allowed to call a preacher to say a prayer for Gregg," she said.

Officers Ted Bordman and James Phillips shot Sevier, who was hit by six bullets and died when two rounds struck his heart. Officers said they fired when Sevier lunged at Bordman with a knife.

"I have no feelings at this time for him (Bordman)," she said. "I feel his life was not threatened."

Mrs. Sevier said she is hopeful about an investigation being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine whether civil rights violations were committed in connection with her son's death.

"I need justice for Gregg," she said. "And for us. I don't want another family to go through this again."

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