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.

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