UPDATED: “I Can’t Breathe” wrongful death lawsuit filed against Lansing Police

Lansing

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– Today attorneys from Buckfire & Buckfire announced that they have filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the family of an unarmed man who died while restrained facedown in Lansing Police custody.

According to the firm, they filed the lawsuit today on behalf of The family of Anthony Hulon, against the City of Lansing and the officers responsible for using quote “excessive force” and “permitting collusive statements by involved officers.”

According to the court document, it’s alleged Hulon died on April 11 after he was handcuffed behind his back and pinned on the ground by Lansing police officers in a jail cell after being transported from Sparrow Hospital to the Lansing City Jail.

Hulon was arrested for a domestic assault, he was transported to Sparrow Hospital where they found meth and ecstasy in his system. He was given drugs to calm down, and taken back to the Lansing City jail.

Officers were attempting to get Hulon down on his knee’s but he refused.

“He is being unruly there is no doubt about that, but once they get him in the jail cell there is no justification for them to pin him down and to restrain him,” says attorney Jennifer Damico.

The suit names Officers Gary Worden, Charles Wright and Trevor Allman, who are accused of pinning Hulon to the ground on his stomach and chest, compressing his lungs and restricting his ability to breathe for over 5 minutes, while Hulon repeatedly said “I can’t breathe.”

“By the time they got him to the hospital he had been 38 minutes without a heartbeat without any oxygen,” says Damico.

Hulon, 54, suffered cardiac arrest and anoxic brain injury, according to medical records. The Ingham County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the cause of death as positional asphyxia and the manner of death as homicide.

Buckfire Law trial attorney Jennifer Damico, the lawyer representing Hulon’s family, said their 30-page civil action filed in the Western District of Michigan, will continue an important conversation on the “ongoing problem of police brutality.”

“This isn’t the first time this has happened in the Lansing City Jail, in the same cell nonetheless,” Damico said. “This department knows better and knows about the risks associated with positional asphyxia. It shows that this department turned a blind eye to the rights of citizens and has learned nothing from prior incidents.”

The matter is still under investigation.

You can read the full lawsuit here:

The lawsuit comes nearly five months after the death of George Floyd, whose death in police custody sparked massive protests against police brutality. Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was videotaped kneeling on the handcuffed Floyd’s neck for over 8 minutes as the man repeatedly said, “I can’t breathe.”

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