Eleven Police Officers Cause Man’s Death by Asphyxiation
Atlanta, GA (Law Firm Newswire) June 3, 2013 - The man that died in this incident was sat on by eleven police officers.
“This was one of the most horrendous cases I have ever read about,” indicated Stephen Ozcomert, an Atlanta injury lawyer, who practices personal injury, accidents and malpractice law in Georgia. “It was just beyond comprehension that if the complete details of this man’s death were true, that eleven law enforcement officers would sit on someone and asphyxiate them.”
The incident happened in 2007 when a young man appeared in a store, telling the clerk there were people outside that were trying to kill him. He was agitated, paranoid and frightened for his life. The clerk called for help. An off-duty sheriff’s deputy noted the young man’s behavior had escalated and he was disoriented and his eyes were glazed over. He was handcuffed and made to sit down at the front of the store. The deputy called 911 for medical assistance.
For some reason, eleven police officers showed up and did not wait for medical help. They forced the handcuffed man outside, despite his terrified protests he was going to be killed by people outside the store. It was clear to witnesses that the man actually believed what he was saying.
The man began to struggle and resist the deputies, which caused the eleven officers to sit on his back and handcuff his hands to his feet. The young man was pronounced dead at the scene, of asphyxiation. The parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit, stating, among other things, that the officers were negligent in using the amount of force that they did, that the amount of force was inappropriate and they made no attempt to determine if the man was having a mental breakdown or suffering from a drug induced psychosis.
“The lawsuit further alleged the officers did not follow proper protocol by using a banned hogtie device. It had been banned because of the significant risk of serious injuries or death. The plaintiff also stated their actions caused the man’s evident distress to escalate, causing him to struggle and the deputies to jump on him, suffocating him in the process,” Ozcomert explained.
If the details contained in the statement of claim are found to be true, the family stands a good chance of recovering compensation for the loss of their son, his pain and suffering and possibly punitive damages. “Many families who choose to file wrongful death lawsuits also hope to send a message to the defendants. In this case, it would be that such violent actions on the part of the police force have no place in keeping the peace and someone must be held responsible for such actions,” remarked Ozcomert.
Stephen M. Ozcomert, PC
215 North McDonough Street
Decatur, GA 30030
Call: (404) 370-1000
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