Haitian immigrant shot and killed by police after struggle

December 22, 2011 3:07:25 PM PST
The family of a man shot and killed by police in Rockland County says there are a lot of unanswered questions about his death.

A Spring Valley police officer last week shot Herve Gilles.

They say he was out of control armed with a nightstick.

One week later, the memorial candles have died out, but in Spring Valley's Haitian community the questions still burn.

What exactly happened when a police officer opened fire? Herve Gilles was killed, shot in the head and torso.

Police had been called to El Buen Gusto Bar about an unruly patron.

Investigators say Gilles got into a violent struggle, biting and hitting a responding officer with the officer's nightstick.

The cop, a 20-year veteran, has still has not been identified.

Thursday, Gilles' brother and sister met with the Rockland County District Attorney.

Their main concern: whether excessive force was used.

Gilles was homeless, and well known throughout Spring Valley.

His sister acknowledges he was mentally ill.

Residents say that instability was made worse when Gilles drank.

But friends and loved ones insist the 48-year-old was troubled, but not violent.

The family's lawyer says they've been assured the matter will be investigated and presented to a grand jury.

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