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Family of mentally ill woman fatally shot by police sues Police Department

LONGVIEW, Texas -- An East Texas couple has filed a $10 million lawsuit over the fatal shooting of their 17-year-old daughter by officers at Longview police headquarters.

The federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in Marshall alleges Longview police violated the civil rights of Kristiana Joy Coignard. The lawsuit by Erik and Elizabeth Coignard names the city, Police Chief Don Dingler and three officers.

A grand jury last month declined to indict anyone in the Jan. 22 shooting in the police headquarters lobby as officers struggled to subdue the teen, who had a knife.

Longview police say Coignard was carrying a note that said she was mentally ill.

According to CBS affiliate KSLA, the lawsuit claims that the officers used excessive force and that the police department failed to properly train officers on dealing with mental health issues.

The original complaint also says that Kristiana Coignard went to the Longview Police Department and repeatedly asked for help, demonstrating that she was not a threat to the officers, reported the station.

The incident garnered national attention after the police's use of force was called into question.

"I think it was a little too much force for the situation with a knife instead of a gun," James Wright, a longtime Longview resident, told CBS affiliate KYTX three days after the fatal shooting in January 2015.

Longview city and police spokesman Shawn Hara said Wednesday that the city will review the lawsuit and let the legal process play out.

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