‘I feel empowered’: Mother of 18-year-old killed by troopers sues state police for over $60 Million

Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 7:26 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 14, 2022 at 11:21 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A year after the shooting death of her 18-year-old son by State troopers LaToya Benton is taking legal matters into her own hands.

“I’m not going to give up! don’t even know what I’m doing per se I just now I’m fighting for my son,” Benton said.

The heartbroken, yet defiant mother of Xzavier Hill announced Thursday that she has filed a federal lawsuit against Virginia State Police for more than $60 million dollars. Benton was joined by her family and supporters in the community outside of the Federal Court Building when she made the announcement.

“We filed without an attorney, but we have God on our side the lawsuit was written by myself,” Benton said. “I grieve every day because of the violence my son suffered at the hands of police.”

On Jan. 9, 202,1 Benton’s 18-year-old son Xzavier Hill led troopers on a chase that topped speeds of 120 miles an hour. Hill crashed along I-64 in Goochland.

Photo provided by family.
Photo provided by family.(wwbt/nbc12)

State Police say Hill displayed a gun and refused orders to stop reaching for it before he was shot.

Last year the two troopers who were involved in Hill’s shooting death were cleared of any wrongdoing by a grand jury, but Benton believes the officers were never held accountable for their actions.

“We’re not going to lie down and let people say to us he had a gun in the car. We live in an open-carry state here in Virginia,” Benton said. “My son was denied due process in this case. He was denied his life.”

Hill’s mother is suing state police for 60-Million Dollars in addition to seeking damages against two state troopers totaling $350,000. Benton is also demanding a trial by jury.

Benton says she filed the suit herself because her attorney refused to represent her wrongful death suit and due to mounting legal fees from previous litigation in her son’s death.

In addition to justice for her son Benton says she’s doing this to inspire other families in a similar situation to do the same against law enforcement.

“I’m here to continue my calling to get justice on my son and for all the other accounts of black men and women who were denied their constitutional right of protection based solely on the fact of fear that’s triggered in white male officers,” Benton said. “I wanna show people you can fight this fight. I don’t wanna settle just to make it go away.”

NBC12 reached out to Virginia State Police for a statement, but the police agency says they do not comment on pending litigation.

“I‘m moving forward like a train with no breaks! I’m going!” Benton said. “I feel empowered!”

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