The family members of Francisco DeJesus, who died after a traffic stop in downtown Buffalo in June 2018, have filed a lawsuit against Buffalo police, alleging they contributed to his death.
Authorities said they believed DeJesus was in possession of cocaine and swallowed it during a traffic stop.
The bag of cocaine got stuck in DeJesus’s esophagus and he was taken to the hospital where it was removed by hospital staff. District Attorney John J. Flynn said that it wasn’t clear then if he choked on the bag or whether or not the substance in the bag contributed to his death.
According to DeJesus’s death certificate, the cause of death is cocaine intoxication. The certificate didn’t list any other injuries.
The lawsuit, however, claims that DeJesus died due to acts of battery, negligence, excessive force, failure to provide adequate training, negligent hiring practices and federal civil rights violations.
DeJeus’s daughter said that police officers struck her father and are responsible for his death.
The city of Buffalo and police department, Police Commissioner Byron C. Lockwood and 10 unidentified police officers are named as defendants in the lawsuit.
The suit also alleges that the defendants fabricated a story about what happened and filed false statements and police reports.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time police have been accused of using excessive force. Earlier this month, Michael Yeager filed a lawsuit against an Austin police officer for allegedly using brutal, excessive force while falsely arresting him.
The incident involving Yeager occurred on Dec. 18, 2018 in a parking lot underneath Interstate 35 near 11th Street. Body camera footage shows officer Dusty Jester slamming Yeager to the ground and using a stun gun on him without cause.
The lawsuit said that Yeager suffered a concussion, separated shoulder, broken nose, fractured thumb and cuts that required 27 stitches.
“The video is absolutely outrageous,” Yeager’s lawyer, Scott Medlock said. “I’ve watched a lot of police excessive force videos in my career, and this one is mind-boggling. ”
A heavily redacted incident report from Austin police, though, stated Yeager repeatedly ignored Jester’s commands to stop while he walked away from the scene. Jester took out his stun gun and told Yeager to get on the ground, but he refused.
Yeager was charged with evading arrest, but the charge was eventually dismissed.