AL Teen Chokes to Death, Suffers Cardiac Arrest at Hands of Police

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — A Huntsville teen who died after being arrested by Huntsville police in a drug sting suffered broken ribs, had a flashlight shoved in his mouth and suffered cardiac arrest while officers sat on him, a federal lawsuit alleges.

The 17-year-old choked, began vomiting and lost consciousness while handcuffed but officers refused to render aid, according to the lawsuit filed by Nancy Smith, the teen’s mother. Police told paramedics they thought the teen had overdosed, but the lawsuit said no signs of an overdose have been found.

The officers, who had sent an informer to buy drugs from the teen, held the teen down and inserted two pens and the butt of a flashlight into his mouth searching for contraband. They didn’t find any. The boy could not breathe and had turned blue by the time paramedics arrived, according to the complaint.

He died on June 18, 2013, five days after being transported to Huntsville Hospital.

Fear & The Ferguson Verdict

In the minutes leading up to the verdict of the Grand Jury in Ferguson–on whether or not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed Black teen Michael Brown–I can’t help but to hear these lyrics in mead, from The Temper Trap’s “Science of Fear”, excerpted here:

Black smoke

Red sky

The television’s sayin’

Downhill

Head on another crash is comin’

Downhill

Head on another crash is comin’

Move

Or watch the murder of you way of life

There’s a science to fear

It plagues my mind

And it keeps us right here

And the less we know

The more we sit still

My baby’s stuck on a road

That leads to nowhere

Nowhere, nowhere, nowhere, nowhere.