Court says Nathaniel Jones' Family can pursue claim against Cincinnati Police: Black Man Beaten, Suffocated & Refused Medical Treatment
The federal appeals court said Friday that a lawsuit by relatives of a 350-pound man who died during a fight with Cincinnati police after his arrest in November 2003 could go forward.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected an appeal by city officials who sought to have some of the 16 defendants, mostly police officers, dismissed from the suit. The court ruled that they are not entitled to the qualified immunity that generally applies to police officers in the line of duty.
City officials ruled in 2004 that police acted within department policy in using nightsticks to subdue Nathaniel Jones, 41, who died after scuffling with officers in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant.
The Hamilton County prosecutor already had concluded that the officers had been within their right to defend themselves and committed no crimes.
The county coroner said Jones died of suffocation but noted that an enlarged heart, obesity and drug use contributed to his death. An autopsy showed he had intoxicating levels of cocaine, PCP and alcohol in his blood.
Friday's ruling affirmed a federal District Court ruling in favor of Jones' family, which alleged that officers used excessive force in subduing Jones and then failed to obtain medical treatment for him. Many activists denounced the police beating as an example of police brutality and racismIt said the District Court was correct in refusing to dismiss the city's claim. [MORE]
- Pictured above: On November 30, 2003 several Cincinnati Police Officers beat Nathaniel Jones to death. Most of the beating was captured on Police videotape [SEE ]. Mysteriously, however the beginning of the tape is missing. Police maintain that Jones was fighting back against the Cops. But sticking your hand out seems to be a reasonable reaction to being hit with batons by several people. [more]