An attorney for the family of Kenneth Howe says there will be a civil rights lawsuit filed over his death. The 45-year-old man died while in police custody after he was arrested at a North Andover sobriety checkpoint on November 26.
Howe was accused of striking one state trooper and trying to flee the scene. Police arrested him after a brief pursuit and he was charged with assault and battery on a police officer.
The family’s Massachusetts injury attorney says that Howe never attempted to resist arrest. According to the driver of the pickup truck that the Worcester man was riding in, the trooper pulled Howe from the vehicle and started yelling out that she had been assaulted. 10 – 20 cops then surrounded Howe, who afterwards was unable to stand up unassisted. Police picked him up and dragged him to a cruiser.
While in the booking room at Andover State Police Barracks, Howe became unconscious. He was transported to Lawrence General Hospital where he was declared dead.
Howe’s relatives have said that the “blunt force” injuries to the chest and head that killed Howe were a result of police beating him during his arrest. This week, the Chief Medical Examiner’s office ruled that the Worcester man’s death was a homicide, with “beating” as the cause of the victim’s fatal injuries. However, the medical examiner’s office was quick to point out that it is not assigning criminal wrongdoing or blame. Final forensic and autopsy findings are still pending.
Massachusetts Police Brutality
If you believe that your loved one sustained injuries or died while in police custody because a Massachusetts police officer used excessive force when apprehending, questioning, arresting, or interrogating him/her, you should not be afraid to report the incident. Police brutality is a violation of a person’s civil rights. Even if no wrongdoing is found on the part of an officer or a police department, you may have grounds for filing a Massachusetts police brutality complaint.
Medical Examiner: Death in cop custody a homicide, Boston Herald, January 23, 2010
Man Dies In State Police Custody After Arrest, WBZ, November 27, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office, Mass.gov
Massachusetts State Police
Our Boston injury lawyers represent clients with Massachusetts wrongful death claims against liable parties.