Family of man shot dead by police 20 years ago continues fight for justice

The family of Steven Wallace, who was shot dead by police in Waitara in 2000, are back in court continuing their fight for justice.

More than 20 years later, the victims mother and sister are suing police for breaching Wallace's right to life.

His mother Raewyn Wallace said the family wants justice. 

In April, 2000 - 23 year old Steven Wallace went on a rampage with a baseball bat; smashing shop windows and attacking a patrol car - when he advanced to within a few metres of senior constable Keith Abbott, and was shot 4 times.

His family argued the police used excessive force, depriving his right to life.

The family's lawyer, Graeme Minchin, says the police should be held responsible for what happened.

"They're not really thinking about what they're doing. There's no plan, it's all rather haphazard."

"They grossly misread the situation and subsequently overreacted with excessive force," Minchin said.

The Crown told the court the police tried to avoid lethal force.

"In the end, the actions of Mr Wallace left constable Abbot with no alternative," said the crown's lawyer Peter Gunn. 

Under cross examination, Raewyn Wallace said police never investigated her son's death properly. 

"We couldn't get the baseball bat tested (among other things), and that's why I'm here today," said Wallace.

The family is seeking $200,000 in compensation from the police.

The hearing has been set down for a week.