A Chicago-based civil rights attorney known for representing victims of police brutality has begun an investigation into the death of John Elifritz, the 48-year-old man fatally shot by Portland officers Saturday.
"We believe the narrative the police are putting out there is not consistent with what we think the truth is," Attorney Andrew M. Stroth, who is representing the Elifritz family, told the Mercury. "Our view is that they used excessive and lethal force based on what's clearly a mental health issue. What police did to John was unconstitutional."
Stroth has represented dozens of other families who've lost family members to police shootings. A few of his more notable cases: the fatal shooting of 16-year-old Pierre Loury by the Chicago police (where Stroth got city attorneys to admit that an intentional "code of silence" exists within the police department), the death of 28-year-old Andrew Finch, the innocent Wichita, Kansas man shot in January by officers following a prank tip, and the case of Cordale Handy, a man shot by the police in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Stroth has also played a large role in the push to reform Chicago's police department in the wake of a damning investigation by U.S. Department of Justice into the city's police (sound familiar, Portland?).
We won't know if Elifritz's wife, Barbara Hinderlong-Elifritz, will file a civil suit against the city until Stroth's investigation has concluded.
"We have promised the family to pursue the truth and seek justice," Stroth said.