AP

Estate of man who died in police custody sues city, officers

Jun 22, 2022, 3:01 PM | Updated: 3:26 pm

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The family of a man who died in custody after being shot with a stun gun filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the city of Indianapolis and six police officers.

The estate of Herman Whitfield III is seeking compensatory and punitive damages following the 39-year-old pianist’s death April 25 inside his parent’s home in Indianapolis.

The man’s mother, Gladys Whitfield, said they were trying to get help for him when they called police.

“We thought we were availing ourselves of services that they provide and they killed our son,” Gladys Whitfield said. “I’m just very disappointed and sad about what happened. I couldn’t be more sad.”

The lawsuit claims the officers used a stun gun on Whitfield and then “crushed the breath out of an unarmed, non-violent Mr. Whitfield.”

The lawsuit also claims the officers ignored Whitfield’s cries of “I can’t breathe.”

Police Chief Randal Taylor and city’s Office of Corporation Counsel declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Responding officers were told Whitfield was experiencing a mental health issue and needed an ambulance, police said.

Officers had tried negotiating and using de-escalation tactics for more than 10 minutes when Whitfield moved quickly toward an officer, police said.

“The officer activated the Taser twice and the man continued to resist,” police said in a news release at the time.

Officers handcuffed the man, but medics received no response from him, and they began CPR, police said. Whitfield was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

Officers described the man as about 6-foot-2 (1.9 meters) and around 280 pounds (127 kilograms) pounds.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch ro...

Associated Press

Plane that did ‘Dutch roll’ on flight from Phoenix suffered structural damage, investigators say

A Boeing 737 Max suffered damage to parts of the plane's structure after it went into a “Dutch roll” during a flight from Phoenix last month.

4 days ago

This photo provided by Randy Shannon shows Mooney Falls on the Havasupai reservation outside the vi...

Associated Press

Dozens report illness after trips to waterfalls near Grand Canyon

Dozens of hikers say they fell ill during trips to a popular Arizona tourist destination that features towering blue-green waterfalls deep in a gorge neighboring Grand Canyon National Park.

5 days ago

Mugshot of Rudy Giuliani, who was processed Monday, June 10, 2024, in the Arizona fake electors cas...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani posts $10K cash bond after being processed in Arizona fake electors case

Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and Donald Trump attorney, was processed Monday in the Arizona fake electors case.

8 days ago

FILE - White House former chief of staff Mark Meadows speaks with reporters at the White House, Wed...

Associated Press

Former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows pleads not guilty in Arizona fake elector case

Former Donald Trump presidential chief of staff Mark Meadows and Trump 2020 Election Day operations director Michael Roman pleaded not guilty Friday in Phoenix to nine felony charges for their roles in an effort to overturn Trump's Arizona election loss to Joe Biden.

11 days ago

deadly heat wave last summer...

Associated Press

After a deadly heat wave last summer, metro Phoenix is changing tactics

Fresh memories of the deadly heat wave last summer have led Arizona authorities to launch new tactics ahead of summer 2024.

22 days ago

A Yuma man has been arrested for allegedly starting a wildfire in a national wildlife preserve near...

Associated Press

Man accused of starting wildfire in national wildlife preserve in Yuma

A Yuma man has been arrested for allegedly starting a wildfire in a national wildlife preserve near the California border.

22 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

Estate of man who died in police custody sues city, officers