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Alleged police brutality leads to wrongful death suit

People taken into police custody in Maryland still have Constitutional rights. Unfortunately, some police officers ignore these laws and engage in cruelty and violence. This is just what allegedly happened to two Maryland men, one of whom was killed in the incident.

The families of these victims are pursing a wrongful death suit against the Baltimore Police Department and the individual officers themselves, alongside claims of violation of civil rights and others. The first man alleges the police had him stop in an alley in July 2013 after he had gone grocery shopping with his 3-year-old child. The officers were brandishing their guns and ordered the man to step out of his vehicle. The man was then thrown to the ground, punched and kicked. He filed a complaint following the incident, but no action was ever taken on it, and the officers remained on duty.

A mere 17 days later, a second man was beaten by the officers during a traffic stop. The 44-year-old man allegedly tried to escape police custody, and died in the struggle. According to his families, if the officers had been taken off duty during the first incident, the second fatal incident would not have occurred. Despite this, the officers were cleared of criminal charges.

Incidents like this are truly offensive. Police may have certain powers, but the excessive use of force is not one of them. A wrongful death suit may be the only way in some situations for a victim's family to find justice, in the form of "pecuniary" damages. These types of damages could cover loss of support, inheritance and services. In addition to a wrongful death suit, a survival action can be filed to compensate for the victim's pain and suffering.

When it comes to determining damages in a wrongful death suit, the victim's family should make sure to explore all the options for recovery. Doing so may ensure that no important point is overlooked.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Family of man who died in Baltimore police custody files lawsuit," Justin Fenton, June 23, 2014

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