A woman whose son was shot to death by a Scott County Deputy gives a rare interview almost four years after her son’s death.

She sat down with Local 4 News after she wrote a letter accusing the county of mistreating her son both before and after his death.

It happened in the early morning of Oct. 23, 2018, in the Menard’s parking lot in Davenport.

Deputy Gregory Hill pulled over 23-year-old Robert Mitchell for a broken brake light and tried to arrest Mitchell on an outstanding warrant from Indiana.

The struggle between Mitchell and the deputy are now the focus of a civil lawsuit. We spoke with Mitchell’s mother and her lawyer.

It’s been almost four years since Robert Mitchell’s death. His mother still sobs when she talks about it.

“I held Bobby’s hand and I held my hand on his chest… so I could feel his last heartbeat,” his mother sobbed.

Mitchell died after a struggle with a deputy– shown here on the body camera of another responding deputy.

Officially, the deputy’s use of deadly force has been justified.

But Patty Thorington believes Scott County hid evidence in her son’s death, and she wants to speak out about it. “In the past I’ve tried to stay out of the public eye and avoid interviews,” she said.

Thorington filed a civil lawsuit– winning a summary judgment– but learned just two weeks ago that Scott County was appealing.

Thorington’s attorney David O’Brien believes the county is basing it’s appeal on an animated video.

“They created a video … they paid over $66,000 to create an animated video of the video, he said. “If you compare it to the actual video of the incident… it shows that he pulls his gun out and starts shooting while he’s still inside the car and the video shows that he’s standing up outside the car when he fires the first shot.”

“During deposition we had evidence technicians from the county bring over the boots that Officer Hill was wearing and there were no scuff marks on the toes of his boots like you would expect to see if they were dragged across the pavement,” he said. “I mean we got the autopsy report showing the bullet trajectory going at a downward angle, not an upward angle, like it would be like if he was inside the car.”

It will now be up to the Iowa Court of Appeals to review all the evidence in the case. In the meantime, Thorington reflects on her son’s death not long after what would have been his birthday last week.

“It’s not that all police are bad … they’re not. Many of them are wonderful upstanding people who pledge their lives to help us and save us,” she said. “But when we have a bad officer it’s time for us to stop protecting them and make them face their own music.”

The trial is scheduled for next year.