RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The mother of Xzavier Hill — a man shot and killed by Virginia State Police officers after a car chase on Interstate 64 almost two years ago — can now sue the officers involved, according to a federal court ruling.
Latoya Benton told 8News that despite the good news, no amount of money will bring back her son. She said this is about changing a system, she said, and continuing this fight is her way of doing right by her son.
“As a mom, you protect your cubs. You make sure what is done, is right. Period, ” Benton said. “No one can sit here and say to me you can’t fight for your child.”
Benton initially sought to bring six counts in a civil suit against Virginia State Police and the individual troopers — Seth Layton and Benjamin Bone — in both their individual and official capacities. The charges include wrongful death, gross negligence and failure to properly train the officers.
The judge has ruled the case can move forward with five of the six charges against the two troopers in their individual capacities. That means if damages are awarded, the officers alone will be responsible, not the state itself.
“I want to make sure change is made behind my son so that my husband is protected, my brother is protected, and my nephew is protected,” Benton said.
Hill was shot and killed by Virginia State Police troopers in January 2021. Authorities said Hill led troopers on a high-speed chase ending in a ditch alongside I-64 in Goochland County.
Benton said she hasn’t had time to grieve her son’s death because she’s been too busy seeking justice on his behalf. She said any payout in damages won’t be enough for her son’s life.
“The state can’t pay for that … That was my legacy right there,” she said.
Benton said after spending $14,000 in legal fees, no one would take on the case, leading her to represent herself.
As this case proceeds, the two accused officers remain on active duty, according to authorities. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Oct. 18.