In an effort to retrieve the alleged bag, the lawsuit claims police had to shove a sharp object into the teen’s throat.
May 7, 2014
A 17 year old boy is dead after a confrontation with police. Nancy Smith, the mother of the teen, has filed a federal lawsuit in March Claiming assault and battery and wrongful death.
Smith’s son was caught in an undercover sting operation buying drugs from an informant. When undercover police rushed in to make the arrest, they did not identify themselves and the 17 year old ran, according to the lawsuit.
The boy was then thrown to the ground and pepper-sprayed.
What happened next is what the lawsuit alleges led to the teen’s death. The officers thought that the teen had swallowed a bag of drugs so a “sharp object” was used to dislodge it. No bag of drugs was ever found according to the lawsuit.
The teen also suffered broken ribs from the officers knees being shoved in his back while on the ground.
It took months before Smith ever received a copy of the autopsy report. The autopsy says that the cause of death is ‘undetermined’ yet could have been due to asphyxiation.
The report states, “Because of the circumstances of this event, it is difficult to discern if the decedent died from a drug overdose or an asphyxia event exacerbated by either the occlusion of the airway by the foreign object, a possible vascular occlusion associated with the neck restraint, or from a combination of all the events that transpired during this incident.”
However, no one will know if drugs were involved as the blood samples were thrown out.
A 17 year old boy is dead because the state claims the authority stop people from ingesting substances they deem unsafe. But the irony in this story is that had the state not tried to “protect this boy from himself” he’d still be alive.
You can read the full lawsuit in PDF format here.