The Columbus lawyers fight for the families of Ty're King, Henry Green and others killed by the Columbus police.

The Columbus lawyers fight for the families of Ty're King, Henry Green and others killed by the Columbus police.

Ty're King wasa sweet "mama's boy" who loved ice hockey and gymnastics. Henry Green was a lovable jokester who watched out for everyone. During a gut-wrenching press conference in late September, the families of King and Green shared those stories and more as they paid tribute to their loved ones, shot and killed by Columbus police. "I can't even put it into words," said an emotional Adrienne Hood, Green's mother. "I cry every night to sleep."

Hood was joined in front of the cameras by pastors, community activists and other family members. Also standing with Hood were Sean Walton and Chanda Brown, attorneys for the families of King and Green. The shooting deaths of the young black males-Green was 23, King 13-brought home to Columbus the racially charged anger that has flooded so many other cities across the country in the wake of police-involved shootings. And at the center of the controversy locally are Walton and Brown, two young, black lawyers unafraid to dive into the difficult issues of police violence.

"A lot of attorneys won't do these cases," says veteran Columbus civil rights lawyer Fred Gittes, who's worked with Walton and Brown. "They are challenging because of legal barriers. But I also know a lot of attorneys who are uncomfortable-and I would even go so far as to say afraid-to do cases against the police."

Walton, a 30-year-old Dayton native, became more deeply involved with law enforcement issues when he struck out on his own in 2013 after spending about 18 months working for the Cochran Firm, founded by the late Johnnie Cochran, O.J. Simpson's defense attorney. Today, Walton and Brown, a 34-year-old childhood friend who partnered with Walton in early 2015, represent the families of six people killed by Columbus police and one person killed by another law enforcement agency, as well as 10 other police brutality cases (the majority involving Columbus police). They've quickly become known as the go-to attorneys for those seeking justice for loved ones killed by the CPD. King's family hired them within hours of his Sept. 14 death.

Hood says some members of her family questioned the wisdom of hiring such young lawyers, but she liked their youthful aggressiveness. "There's something about this younger generation," she says. "They don't have this fear that a lot of older people get into-'We don't want to rub this person the wrong way.'"

Indeed, Walton and Brown have been unafraid to ruffle feathers. They hired an independent forensic pathologist to examine King's body, blasted city leaders for aggressive policing tactics, demanded independent investigations into the deaths of Green and King and have conducted periodic press conferences to keep their clients' stories in the public eye. "We're a little bit more risk-takers," Walton says. "That may be something that sets us apart."

Police misconduct cases are expensive, difficult to win and often unpopular. But both Brown and Walton are pleased with the direction their careers have taken, although surprised (neither expected to handle so many police shootings). "It's something that we're becoming really passionate about it," Brown says. "It's a lot of work, but we're working in an area that's our calling, basically."