Inmate who died in Lansing Prison told police ‘I can’t breathe’ as they knelt on top of him, lawsuit says

LANSING, MI – A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of the family of Anthony Hulon, who died while in custody at Lansing Prison in April. Family lawyer Jennifer Damico said Hulon’s death was caused by positional asphyxiation after officers forced him to the ground and knelt on his upper body, according to the Associated Press. while trying to hold it back.

Video of the incident shows Hulon telling police that the handcuffs already on him “hurt” before the police tried to force him further. Hulon is seen in the video resisting the police before they knock him down. At this point, one of the officers kneels on Hulon’s upper back so the others can hold him back. While on the ground, Hulon can be heard telling the officers, “I can’t breathe” and “I’m passing out”.

According to Damico, the officers were on Hulon for five minutes and 32 seconds.

“You don’t put him face down or put pressure on his upper back, chest, legs and torso while you try to put that belt on him. It’s in their policies and procedures, ”Damico said in a interview with Fox 2.

When officers realize that Hulon had stopped breathing, they attempt CPR before emergency medical personnel arrive, they show on video. One of the officers asked, “Is he asleep?” However, SME workers were unable to revive him and Hulon was pronounced dead in hospital.

Hulon was in police custody after being arrested following a fight with his roommate. During the arrest, Damico said Hulon told police he had heavy methamphetamine and ecstasy use and believed he was having a bad reaction. Hulon spent eight hours in an area hospital before being taken to the prison at around 1 a.m. on April 11.

Damico doesn’t dispute Hulon’s arrest, but she says the officers should just leave him in the observation cell, rather than agitating him further.

The state attorney general’s office told the Lansing State Journal that an investigation into the matter is underway. LSJ also reported that Lansing Mayor Andy Schor declined to comment due to the ongoing trial, and Lansing Police Director of Public Information Robert Merritt did not immediately respond to inquiries. comments.

Damico said the ministry was prosecuted 25 years ago in a similar case and that a jury awarded the family $ 13 million. The lawyer says she plans to take this case to a jury and will seek a similar award of “$ 13 million in today’s money.”

“It is tragic that we continue to see more and more police brutality,” Damico said. “This department, once and for all, must be held accountable.”

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