BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The family of a Baltimore County man claims excessive forced by police led to the death of their loved one and they’ve filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit.
The medical examiner’s office ruled 21-year-old Tawon Boyd’s death as accidental, which was likely caused by drugs.
The medical examiner found the drug commonly known as “bath salts” in his system, which isn’t sitting well with his family who took it upon themselves to investigate.
Boyd’s family filed a lawsuit against police and the medics that responded to the scene at his Middle River home.
“Mr. Boyd was calling the police for help. He thought someone was breaking into his house. He wasn’t violent. He wasn’t committing a crime,” attorney A. Dwight Pettit said.
During the initial investigation police says it was Boyd being the aggressor.
“It’s a violent struggle. I mean he’s ripping off their badges and he’s ripping off the cords to their radios,” said Elise Armacost of the Baltimore County police.
In their report police said Boyd was “confused, paranoid” and that someone was “secretly recording” him.
They say his fiance also told officers Boyd had been drinking the night before and smoked marijuana. At that point, it’s reported that Boyd ran away from officers and tried to get into their police cars.
Police say it took four officers to subdue him. The lawsuit says the officers “threw him to the ground and “tackled him” and that he was punched and kicked in his “head, face, and all over his body” while on the ground.
The lawsuit claims Boyd was never violent during his interaction with police. It also states that he was illegally given medication that made him go into cardiac arrest and multi-organ failure.
Lawyers says Boyd was given the anti-psychotic drug, haldol.
“It is prohibited by law, by state statue and their guidelines advise that it should not have been given to him in the condition that these EMT’s say that they found him in,” said attorney Latoya Francis-Williams.
The County and police department both declined to comment. They say they do not discuss pending litigation.
The lawsuit notes that “no other officer stopped or attempted to stop blows to Boyd’s head.”
The lawsuit also names the former Baltimore County police chief for “failure to train and supervise” the accused officers.