HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Almost a year has passed since a man was wounded inside a patient room at St. Joseph Medical Center following a confrontation with Houston police.27-year-old Alan Pean, who now lives in New York, survived the shooting. He filed a lawsuit against several parties, including St. Joseph Medical Center and four Houston police officers, on Tuesday morning.
"It really turned my life upside down, it made me question a lot of the systems we have in place, to protect citizens," said Pean during a news conference at the Faubus Law Firm on Tuesday." It made me question law enforcement in general and how the mentally ill, especially, are treated by them."
"This lawsuit is about what lengths to which the city will go to justify shootings of unarmed people like Alan Pean, after the fact," said Joseph Melugin, one of Pean's attorneys. "The City of Houston always finds shootings justified, they never find any shooting unjustified. This case is about that policy, that custom, which caused this shooting."
Pean, who was initially admitted to the hospital for overnight observation due to a mental health crisis, was unclothed and unarmed when he was shot in the chest. He and his attorneys maintain that they do not feel as though the Houston Police Department exercised good judgment on Aug. 27, 2015 and allege the department does not know how to interact with individuals suffering the effects of mental health disorders.
Pean was charged with aggravated assault, according to court documents, after affidavits were filed by the officers that shot him, less than 24 hours after the shooting. He was still receiving medical treatment.
A grand jury, however, decided that there was not sufficient evidence to go forward with those charges in March.
FOX 26 News contacted legal counsel for the officers and hospital, but those calls were not returned.
Pean is seeking more than $1 million in monetary damages.