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Garland, Texas Officer Sued Over Fatal Drug Raid Shooting


February 1993

The family of a 26-year-old man shot to death by a Garland, Texas police officer during a 1991 drug raid has sued the officer in federal court for more than $1 million (Tracy Everbach, "Family Sues Garland Officer Over '91 Fatal Shooting," The Dallas Morning News, 1/28/93, 23A).

The parents of the dead man, Kenneth Baulch, allege in the suit that Officer Robert C. Johns unjustifiably used deadly force and then fabricated a story in conjunction with other police officials, to justify the shooting. The suit asks the defendant to pay Baulch's parents and son at least $1.2 million in damages. Only Officer Johns is named. Johns has been cleared by an internal investigation and grand jury.

Kenneth Baulch was asleep in his trailer around 2 p.m. of February 14, 1991 when a group of police officers dressed in black and wearing ski masks burst through the door and aimed pistols at his brother, Michael Baulch, ordering him to freeze, according to The Dallas Morning News. The officers then kicked down the bedroom door, yelling "freeze!" and almost immediately fired three shots, fatally wounding Kenneth Baulch, according to the suit. They later seized a small quantity of marijuana and what they thought was powder cocaine.

Police said they shot Kenneth Baulch because he attacked Officer Johns with an ashtray. The suit specifically refutes this allegation, stating that "at no time did Kenneth Baulch attempt to strike anyone, or use the ashtray as a weapon."