Family of man shot by Pittsfield police waits for justice after new report justifies shooting
A family continues to mourn over their loved one who was shot and killed by a Pittsfield police officer.
After more than a month, the Pittsfield Police Department’s Force Investigation released their preliminary report that says the Pittsfield police shooting was in compliance with the department’s policy.
The family of 22-year-old Miguel Estrella released the following statement: "Our family and loved ones continue to grieve over the tragic loss of our beloved Miguel, who was a kind, caring and compassionate man who loved his family, friends and community. We appreciate all of the many well-wishes and support we continue to receive in this troubling time."
At this time, they’re not verbally commenting on the internal review of Miguel’s shooting because they’re waiting on an independent review being conducted by the Berkshire County District Attorney’s Office and the Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit.
The family says Estrella was having a mental health crisis on March 25. They called for help twice. The first time, police and EMTs arrived and were able to calm Estrella down. The second time, police say Estrella had a knife and charged an officer. The officer responded by tasing Estrella, then shooting him twice.
A preliminary report released by the Pittsfield Police says the use of force against Estrella was justified because he was visibly drunk, armed with a knife, and threatening a woman.
Community activist Michael Hitchcock isn’t surprised by the Pittsfield police report clearing themselves of all wrongdoing.
"We really don’t trust when the police investigate themselves," he said. "Absolutely no surprise at all among me or any of the people, but genuine disappointment."
Hitchcock says they’re advocating for structural change, so no other family has to suffer like Estrella.
"We’re dedicated to getting justice for everyone else and hoping that it will never happen again," he said.
The family hopes an independent review conducted by Berkshire’s District Attorney’s Office and the Massachusetts State Police will reveal key details such as 911 calls, witness interviews, and police reports.