The family of Dwight Jerome Madison is suing Harford County and the Harford County Sheriff’s Office for Maryland wrongful death. Madison, 48, died after police threw him in jail last June. His family is alleging wrongful arrest and police brutality. They are seeking $145 million from the defendants.
According to the Maryland police brutality lawsuit, Madison was arrested on June 11, 2009 just hours after police stopped him in Bel Air. The 48-year-old was let go after he told them he was looking for a friend in the area. Police officer followed him and arrested him for trespassing. He was transported to the Harford County Detention Center.
Police claim that Madison asked to be arrested so he would have some place to go. They then contend that while in custody, he became uncooperative and grabbed and choked one of the guards. Police TASERed Madison, who fell and struck his head.
The Maryland wrongful death lawsuit claims that the following day, a civilian jail worker and three corrections officers assaulted Madison, who had a severe head injury. Even though it was allegedly obvious to those involved that Madison was dying, they continued to Taser him, causing his death. Madison died at Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore on June 13.
The family’s wrongful death lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, says the corrections employees and deputies directly caused his wrongful death and violated his legal rights. It also alleges that the defendants have consistently engaged in “condoning its officers’ pervasive misconduct and abuse of authority.”
Arresting someone without just cause and using excessive force to detain them are both possible grounds for suing the police for Maryland personal injury.
Even if you did break the law, police must still uphold your civil rights. Unfortunately, many people are too scared to speak out for fear of repercussions.
$145 million wrongful death lawsuit filed against county, sheriff’s office, Explore Harford, February 2, 2010
Related Web Resources:
Read the Police Press Release, Harford Sheriff, June 13, 2009
Harford County, Maryland