Sadly, our Chicago police brutality lawyers see instances of excessive police force far too often. Although many police officers are dedicated and responsible, others take advantage of their positions of power and cause serious and unreasonable harm.
According to a recent federal wrongful death lawsuit, police in Westerly, Connecticut inflicted cruel and unnecessary punishment on a 34-year-old Navy veteran, ultimately causing his death. The lawsuit was filed by the victim's wife, parents, and estate.
The Navy veteran died just 16 hours after police arrested him for disorderly behavior and resisting arrest. The medical examiner determined that his death was a homicide, resulting from blunt force trauma to the abdomen that caused a lacerated liver. Death may have been avoided, if not for the excessive use of force by police.
The lawsuit alleges that the deadly police brutality incident happened after the owner of a bar asked the victim and his friend to leave because one of them damaged the bathroom wall. This was merely based on the fact that the bar owner heard noises in the bathroom and found one of the men inside.
When police arrived, they separated the two men and immediately accused the victim's friend of vandalism. When he refused to pay for damaging the bathroom wall, police ordered him to put his hands behind his back and then threw him down to the ground. The other man protested in defense of his friend, and police responded by attacking him with pepper spray, hitting him with a baton, and forcefully arresting him.
The lawsuit alleges that the officers were responsible for the illegal, unnecessary and excessive beating of the victim that caused the blunt force trauma and other trauma that led to his death.
Contrary to the officers' claim that they struck the victim only three times in the back of his right thigh, an autopsy revealed multiple locations of severe trauma. Furthermore, police did not make medical care available to the victim, even though he was in pain while in the overnight custody of the Westerly Police Department. Medical treatment was also not made available when he was taken to court and during his period at the courthouse.
Another allegation mentioned in the lawsuit is that the former Westerly Police Chief did not suitably discipline or rebuke the three officers, despite being fully aware of that they badly treated the victim.
The victim was working as an engineer before his untimely death. The lawsuit asks for compensation to make up for the suffering, pain and fear that the victim had to go through. In addition, the victim's wife, parents and estate are seeking punitive damages for the harm that they suffered as a result of their loved one's death.
Police misconduct in any unjustifiable form of prison abuse, wrongful confessions, and excessive use of force is considered infringement of a U.S citizen's civil rights. No U.S. citizen deserves to be wrongly victimized by the police. If you or a loved one have been victimized in this way, consult a police misconduct lawyer immediately.