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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.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

FILE - R. Kelly appears during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago, Sept. 17, ...
Associated Press

R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in sex trafficking case

Disgraced R&B superstar R. Kelly was sentenced Wednesday to 30 years in prison for using his fame to sexually abuse young fans.
15 hours ago
FILE - The Flint water plant tower is seen, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, in Flint, Mich. A Michigan Supr...
Associated Press

EXPLAINER: Years later, Flint water court fight drags on

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan authorities have long promised to hold key officials criminally responsible for lead contamination and health problems arising from a disastrous water switch in Flint in 2014. There’s not much to show more than eight years later. The latest: an extraordinary rebuke Tuesday from the state Supreme Court, which unanimously dismissed indictments […]
15 hours ago
FILE-- Gas is advertised for more than $6 per gallon at a gas station in Sacramento, Calif., Friday...
Associated Press

California lawmakers to vote on $307.9 billion spending plan

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers on Wednesday will vote on a plan to spend $308 billion in taxpayer money over the next year as the coffers of the world’s fifth largest economy continue to swell during the pandemic. The centerpiece of the operating budget crafted by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders is […]
15 hours ago
FILE - President Joe Biden speaks during the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate in the Sou...
Associated Press

Most say nation on wrong track, including Dems: AP-NORC poll

WASHINGTON (AP) — An overwhelming and growing majority of Americans say the U.S. is heading in the wrong direction, including nearly 8 in 10 Democrats, according to a new poll that finds deep pessimism about the economy plaguing President Joe Biden. Eighty-five percent of U.S. adults say the country is on the wrong track, and […]
15 hours ago
Lev Parnas, a former associate of Rudy Giuliani, arrives at the federal courthouse with his wife Sv...
Associated Press

Giuliani’s former Ukraine fixer gets 20 months in prison

NEW YORK (AP) — Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani who was a figure in President Donald Trump’s first impeachment investigation, was sentenced Wednesday to a year and eight months in prison for fraud and campaign finance crimes. Parnas, 50, had sought leniency on the grounds that he’d cooperated with the Congressional probe of […]
15 hours ago
Follow @ktar923...
Sponsored Content by Arizona Department of Health Services

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Estate of man who died in police custody sues city, officers