Saturday, 10 May 2014

Teen Dies After Cops Force ‘Sharp Object’ Down His Throat, Lawsuit Says

sharp object shovd down teen's throat

A mom in Huntsville, Alabama, says that police killed her son by tackling and choking him, dousing him with pepper spray and showing some sort of sharp object down his throat, all because they thought he swallowed a bag of drugs as they were trying to arrest him. But no bag of drugs was ever found, according to a federal lawsuit filed by the mom, Nancy Smith. Her 17-year-old son who died after the altercation with police last June, is named only as “N.S.” in the lawsuit. Huntsville officials say that the allegations in the lawsuit are false and that their police officers did nothing wrong. “It’s very unfortunate that he died,” said City Attorney Peter Joffrion.

 “But I have full confidence the police officers responding on the scene handled this matter appropriately.” The teen’s autopsy was not released until the lawsuit was filed, though Nancy Smith says she has not received a copy of the report. In the autopsy report, the Alabama Department of Forensic Science came to inconclusive findings, saying they don’t know what killed the teen.

 “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,” the report says.

 But the report contains no indication that a bag of drugs was found in the teen’s stomach. According to the lawsuit, it was June 13 of 2013 when officers used an 18-year-old informant to approach N.S. and ask to buy drugs from him.

 For some reason, during the operation, a female plainclothes officer ran toward the skinny, six-foot, 150 pound teenager — but did not identify herself as a cop. When N.S. walked the other way, another officer tackled him, slapped on handcuffs then pepper-sprayed the teen. One officer dug his knees into the boy’s back, making it impossible for the restrained teen to breathe and breaking his ribs. Also while N.S. was restrained, choking and helpless, the officers “without proper training or experience, probed Minor N.S.’s throat with a sharp oblong instrument as he was choking,” the lawsuit says. The teenager was hospitalized, but died from his injuries five days later.

 The lawsuit does not say how much Nancy Smith is seeking in damages, but does ask that the Huntsville police come up new policies regarding excessive force and how to use confidential informants. Source


  1. Wow. Obviously the procedure used was wrong and the Police involved should pay the price.

  2. Whether or not it is eventually proven that the kid's sdeath was as a result of the wrong procedure taken by the officers.