Lawsuit Claims HPD Officers Used Excessive Force, Leading to Death of 17-year-old

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – A lawsuit claims excessive force used by Huntsville police officers led to the death of a 17-year-old Huntsville juvenile.

The suit claims the Huntsville Police Department “set up” an 18-year-old confidential informant to allegedly purchase a controlled substance from the 17-year-old only identified as “N.S.” on June 13, 2013.

At some point during the buy, officers dressed in civilian clothes grabbed N.S., threw him to the ground and pepper sprayed him, the suit claims. It was then that N.S. began to choke uncontrollably.

The officers told responding paramedics N.S. had swallowed a bag of drugs while being arrested, the suit says. That’s when officers shoved an unidentified oblong object into N.S.’s throat in an attempt to recover the bag they believed he swallowed, according to the suit.

No bag of drugs was found or recovered from the scene or N.S.’s body.

Huntsville Hospital records say N.S. suffered a cardiac arrest while in the custody of the Huntsville police officers, in addition to broken ribs and numerous contusions on his body, according to the lawsuit.

The suit claims that the Huntsville Police Department used excessive and unnecessary force when officers arrested N.S., unlawfully searched and seized him, assaulted him, and failed to properly train its officers.

The defendants requested a trial by jury and are demanding compensatory and punitive damages.


  • Paul Parsons

    If wrongdoing is proven, and there is little doubt after seeing the medical report, then every officer involved should go to prison for murder. But of course, that’s never going to happen.

  • Michael

    Where are all the people that give me crap about “hating” cops now? I don’t “hate” cops. I hate these senseless and impossible wars on drugs, crime, poverty, etc. It has led to a steep rise in police violence against the very citizens they swear to protect. Since I still have the not guilty verdict of 2 police officers in California beating a mentally ill, homeless man to death for 9 minutes fresh on my mind, I have little faith that anything will be done to the officers involved here. The swallowing of drugs just sounds like a lie to cover up their misconduct. In this age of video recorders everywhere I’ve seen too much of it.

    • Michael

      Sorry, but that isn’t true. I’ve never been charged or arrested for anything. Been harassed, threatened, and insulted by the police multiple times though with no apologies from them.

  • jamison jones

    They just need to do a documentary to air on cnn or some other major network about HPD and their tactics.

  • jamison jones

    Tim, even if yyou break the law, one still has rights on arrest procedures. you can’t just throw your weight around cuz you a cop and have a gun and what not. true or false?

  • rodney

    You still can’t just throw your weight around on arrestees cuz you a cop, have a gun and what not. right?

  • Michael

    Tell me more of how “brave” police officers are for causing a 17 year old to go into cardiac arrest. The swallowing drugs line is probably a lie to cover their misconduct. Of course, they’ll probably get away with it just like the officers that beat a homeless, mentally ill Kelly Thomas did. Even if these officers are fired they’ll probably just get it back like HPD Officer Phillip Lee did.

  • Jeremy Smith

    You people commenting on here are despicable.
    @ Tim…you’re absolutely correct. Our HPD Officers go above and beyond the call of duty on a daily basis. They, along with HFD, are everyday HEROES.

    It’s always tragic when someone wastes their life on stupid substances.. but it happens.

    Thanks HPD, for working a dangerous beat.

    God bless you all

    • Tim

      Thank you, I guess I will get at least one vote if I run for mayor. Moto: Take our city back, if you act like a thug or look like a thug we will think your a thug. Two officers to a car and more officers and fire and rescue personnel. Cut out all the layers of management and hand outs.

      • Tim

        My child has enough intelligence to follow 2 simple rules. Rule 1 DON’T BREAK THE LAW. Rule 2 See Rule number 1. Then again I have taken the time to instill values and morals in my child and teach right from wrong.

      • Michael

        Again since apparently you nor Jeremy will answer the question, what would you do if this was your child?

      • steve landers


        Everybody thinks little junior knows right from wrong and will use common sense. You really never know what your children are doing.
        I know you think you do and I hope you are right but I bet you will be the biggest hypocrite if yours get in trouble. And no I do not have any children who have gotten in trouble. Just seen to much of my kid knows better BS

  • darrel

    If killing a child is what u mean by above and beyond then i guess
    ur right but murder is murder i hope each officer involved is charged assuming the kid did swallow a bag they had him in custody why not take him for xray and gaurd him to recover it no to mny bad cops out tbere enjoy using their badge to break the law these actions should be dealt with HARSHLY

  • Jean

    You people are idiots. Believe the report but I know of 4 lies in the article. The truth will come out. You will see that drugs WERE RECOVERED!

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