Baltimore County has decided to settle a lawsuit for more than $1.1 million brought by the family of Tawon Boyd, who died days after an altercation with county police officers.
The lawsuit stems from an incident that occurred on Sept. 18, 2016. Boyd called 911 to assist with what he believed to be an intruder in his home. When a police officer arrived to his home, he found Boyd sweating heavily and looking confused and paranoid.
According to the lawsuit, Boyd ran away and attempted to get inside a locked police car. He then ran to a neighbor’s house shouting for help and asking someone to call the police. The officers concluded that he was on drugs or suffering from a medical emergency and that he needed to go to the hospital.
The suit claims that officers used excessive force against Boyd and that county emergency medical personnel made a mistake in injecting him with antipsychotic medication, which resulted in his death.
Boyd’s mother and the mother of his child filed the lawsuit in 2017. A. Dwight Pettit, their lawyer, said that they were happy that they reached a settlement.
“My clients felt it was in their interest because of the possible conservative jury,” Pettit said.
Boyd’s family said that they shouldn’t have given him Haldol. State protocols for emergency medical personnel forbid the administration of that medication for patients believed to be suffering from excited delirium, like Boyd was.
However, the state’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner determined that Boyd’s death was most likely caused by intoxication with the drug N-Ethylpentylone, also known as “bath salts.” The medical examiner said that it was unlikely that restraint by police officers played a part in his death.