An autopsy has been released in a wrongful death suit of a 150 pound 17-year-old, implicating Alabama Police.
The Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences has ruled the cause of death undetermined, not because the death is suspect, but instead because any number of multiple police inflicted injuries or a combination of them could be the culprit(s).
The findings included blunt force injuries and anoxic/hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, which is when the brain does not receive enough oxygen, reports WAFF.
Nancy Smith, the mother of the teen, filed a federal lawsuit in March claiming assault and battery, wrongful death, and excessive force.
The lawsuit claims a plain closed officer came at the teen without identifying himself after he was set up in a drug sting by an 18-year-old confidential informant.
According to court documents the teen ran. The officer gave chase and threw him to the ground and cuffed him. It is at this point it is believed his ribs were broken. The officer also pepper-sprayed him and restrained his neck.
The Smith family lawsuit claims police told paramedics the 17-year-old swallowed a bag of drugs.
In an effort to retrieve the alleged bag, the lawsuit says police had to “shove a sharp object into the teenagers throat.” Lawyers for the Smiths say drugs were never found in his throat or stomach.
The autopsy report also confirms this, stating that there was no indication of anything unusual found in the teens body.
The autopsy goes on to say:
“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.”
Huntsville PD and city attorneys have not commented on the case apart from denying any wrong doing. The PD has not responded to an Appalachian Area News email request for a statement.
Huntsville Police have however admitted two pieces of evidence into the case. Two zip-lock bags of MDMA(Ecstasy) which were found on the teens person. Each has been verified by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences.
… And the drug war claims another victim…
Contributed By Asa Johnson
Editor, & Top Contributor of Appalachian Area News Network & Affiliates