New lawsuit alleges police mistreatment of inmate

Law enforcement officers have to take people into custody as a daily requirement of the job. This is not only to keep suspects from doing harm but also for the safety of those in the care of the law.

If a person dies in custody, the agency that is protecting him or her can be liable. In a recent lawsuit, the mother of a man who died in custody is alleging that officers themselves caused pain, suffering and wrongful death.

The suit alleges that the death of a man arrested for domestic assault and vandalism was the result of a beating by law enforcement officers after his initial arrest and possibly during his say in jail. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation ruled the death a result of alcohol and opioid ingestion.

However, reports from one of the accused officers and inmates in the same cell as the deceased noticed that he was turning blue and losing consciousness. Inmates also reported seeing blood on the wall beside him.

The Blount County district attorney declined to file charges against the officers, but the mother of the deceased is claiming $10 million in punitive and compensatory damages.

In the case of a death that can be determined to be the fault of an individual or organization, the only recourse to make a family or estate whole may be a lawsuit for wrongful death.

A lawyer can help assess options for a family that has lost a member due to fatal workplace accident, inappropriate behavior by law enforcement officers or other cause for action.

Source: Blount County Daily News, "Mother of deceased inmate sues sheriff's office," Mike Gibson, Sep. 05, 2017

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