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Family Of Man Who Died In Police Custody Files Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit Against City Police

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Linh Bui joined WJZ Eyewitness News in July 2013 as a weekend anchor...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Wrongful death. The family of a man who died in the custody of a Baltimore police officers is suing the department.

Their multi-million dollar lawsuit claims officers used excessive force on Anthony Anderson.

Linh Bui has more on the contentious case.

It’s been more than a year since Anthony Anderson died in police custody.

Now, his family is filing a wrongful death lawsuit.

According to this multi-million dollar lawsuit,  Anderson, 46, died from police brutality.

WJZ spoke to his family’s lawyer.

“They want to be able to put this matter to rest, but more than anything else, they want justice for their son and father, Anthony Anderson,” said J. Wyndal Gordon, attorney for the Anderson family.

In September 2012, police confronted Anderson in East Baltimore, suspecting a drug deal.

Officers said Anderson refused to follow orders and put drugs in his mouth. They said an officer then bear hugged Anderson and tackled him to the ground.

Family members said they saw it happen.

“I saw them kick him. I saw them throw him to the ground and that’s what happened,” said Anderson’s sister, Shayner Anderson.

Anderson died from blunt force injuries, including a ruptured spleen and eight fractured ribs.

The state medical examiner ruled his death a homicide.

In January, the state’s attorney decided not to file charges, saying officers did not use excessive force.

Anderson’s family was outraged.

“We just want to make it clear that we do not have a problem with the Baltimore City Police Department. We have a problem with the officers who think they’re above the law,” said Nancy Harvey, Anderson’s sister.

Their lawsuit names the detectives involved in the arrest and the Baltimore Police Department.

The 86-page complaint alleges officers handcuffed Anderson then kicked him “in the ribs, stomach, back and chest for several minutes maliciously and sadistically for the very purpose of causing harm.”

The family wants their loss to spur changes in the police department.

“There’s no discipline. There’s no accountability. They fail to train. They fail to supervise. And as a result, the citizens are placed in peril,” said Gordon.

The Baltimore Police Department has not commented on the lawsuit.

Anderson’s death sparked rallies and marches in the city.

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