CHICAGO (WLS) --A mother says her call to 911 cost her oldest son his life.
Pamela Anderson is talking about the fatal police shooting of her son inside their home last year. Anderson has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.
"I feel so bad that I called them that day. It's like they just took something away from me," she said. "I can't sleep. I'm on meds to get to sleep, on meds to wake up because I still see what happened to my child."
James Anderson, 34, was fatally shot by a Chicago police officer last September after police say he lunged at them with a knife-like object in his hand.
The grieving mother filed a lawsuit in federal court last Friday claiming her son, who suffered from a mental illness, was unarmed and not a threat before he was shot seven times.
"Losing your child is any parent's nightmare and having it done by the people you call for help, it's beyond comprehension," said Anderson attorney Fred Truglio.
Pamela Anderson said she called police to her home in the 900-block of North Central Park Avenue September 25 because her son had stopped taking his medication. The mother of four says she wanted officers to escort him to a hospital as they had done several times over the past two years. But according to the lawsuit, one officer drew his gun, walked to James Anderson's first-floor bedroom and knocked on the door twice. When James Anderson came out, the family's attorney says, he was shot.
"Clealy here they used an inordinate amount of excessive force when the use of excessive force was not necessary," Truglio said.
At the time, a police spokesperson said officers were responding to a domestic disturbance at the home. After two unsuccessful attempts to subdue him with a Taser, officers shot him when he refused to drop a knife-like object.
Pamela Anderson says she hopes Chicago police officers will receive more training to deal with situations involving people with mental illnesses.
A Chicago Police Department spokesperson says that they do not comment on ongoing litigation.
The Independent Police Review Authority says their investigation into the police-involved shooting continues.