Emotions ran high at the spot where Jontell Reedom was shot by police. For his family, it was truly the first time they could see where he spent his last moments of life. Now the family has hired an attorney and plans to sue the City of Tulare for wrongful death.
Jontell Reedom’s family says he spent much of his time walking the streets of Tulare, catching up with the people he cared about. On Tuesday evening, dozens traveled for his memory just 24 hours after Reedom got into a physical confrontation with two Tulare Police officers.
Police say a taser and pepper spray didn’t work before shots were fired, killing the 27-year-old
“How could they even do that? Like everyone knew him. They knew his state of mind,” said Reedom’s sister, Unique Walker.
Reedom’s family says he dealt with schizophrenia as his mental health declined this past year, following the death of Reedom’s grandmother.
“I birthed him but that was her baby. That really took a toll,” said Reedom’s mother, Anyka Harris.
Just ten years ago, Reedom shined on the football field for Tulare Union High School as a highly recruited prospect with several scholarship offers. Fresno State was his top choice.
“Fresno is close to family. Close to home,” said Reedom in a 2008 interview.
But his college football dreams never came to fruition. Walker says her older brother was playful and loving even after his siblings moved out of Tulare.
“He still checked on us. He still loved on us. He was an amazing brother,” said Walker.
Harris says she asked her son what was next after football. He tried attending classes at the College of the Sequoias to study kinesiology, hoping to coach the sport he loved.
“Just wanting him to find what he loved to do and to do it and to share it with others. I would always tell him, ‘you have greatness in you.’ ” said Harris.
Reedom’s family and several others plan to march from the site of the officer involved shooting to City Hall on Wednesday afternoon at 4 P.M.