Zachary Snow's mother sues Boise Police for wrongful death

Zachary Snow press conference
Posted at 5:29 PM, Oct 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-04 12:08:39-04

The mother of a man shot and killed by Boise Police is suing for wrongful death.

Melissa Walton says she told police her son was suicidal and unarmed when she called them for help. It was a call that ended up costing Zachary Snow his life.

Holding back tears, Zachary Snow's mom stood in front of the Ada County Courthouse to announce she wants structural change at Boise Police.

"I can't get my son back, but hopefully I can get change," Walton said. "I don't want someone else to go through what my son went through."

Snow was killed by Boise Police Oc. 27 of last year. They opened fire when Snow took a defensive posture, drew a dark object from his waistband and pointed it at police. It turned out to be a speaker.

"This was not a situation where they didn't know what was going on," said Humberto Guizar, Walton's attorney. "The officers knew he suffered from a mental illness, they knew he was a troubled kid. And instead of offering help, which is what the mother called for, she called for help. instead they shot him dead."

Walton said it's painful to think she was only seeking help.

"I thought calling 911 was going to save my son's life," she said.

Walton's legal team says police should have deescalated the situation and should have called their special mental health team, but didn't. The officers in the case were found to have acted in self defense and cleared of any crime.

Guizar said that doesn't prove anything.

"They're not going to say that their own did something wrong," he said. "Because they know that'll result in them being held accountable."

As a last resort, Guizar said they're going to civil court in the hopes of finding a better way to deal with mental health calls.