Mom wants off-duty officer who shot, killed her son in 2013 to be held accountable

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A mother is hoping an Oklahoma City police officer can eventually be held accountable for shooting and killing her son.

“Someone has to be accountable for my son’s death,” said Charlesetta Redd Murray. “Accountability is everything.”

Brian Simms Jr. was shot and killed by off-duty officer Paul Galyon outside the Oklahoma City farmer’s market in July of 2013.

Simms was asleep in his car outside a concert. That’s when Sgt. Galyon and his partner approached the car. Galyon claimed Simms had a gun and he thought his life was in danger. The sergeant fired at least nine shots, killing him.

“And not one day goes by that I don’t think about my son and how I knew that he needed me to be there, and I wish I could’ve been there to help him,” said Murray.

Photo goes with story
Brian Simms Jr.

The district attorney cleared Gaylon of any wrongdoing. By doing that, it protected Gaylon from being sued in Civil Court. The Oklahoma City Police Department’s internal investigation cleared the officer of any wrongdoing.

On Wednesday, Lead Counsel Jacob Diesselhorst, with Maples, Nix & Diesselhorst, including the ACLU of Oklahoma, led by attorney Tim Hootman, challenged the application of qualified immunity in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals for the case of Redd v. City of Oklahoma City et al. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments from both sides.

“Our hope is that the district court ruling will be overturned, and that the Simms family will get to have their day in court,” said Jacob Diesselhorst. “There are two sides to the story. One side of the story is deceased and can’t tell his story.”

Based on the briefing and oral arguments Wednesday, the court of appeals will issue an opinion. It could take months to find out if the case will go to trial.

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