Three years after Kenneth Howe, 45, died after being subdued by several officers during a North Andover traffic stop, the Worcester man’s family has settled their Massachusetts wrongful death lawsuit against three law enforcement agencies for $1.6M. The agencies are the North Andover police, state police, and the Essex County sheriff.
Howe was detained during a traffic stop at a state police checkpoint in November 25, 2009. According to the family’s North Andover wrongful death lawyer, Howe was “swarmed” by numerous troopers and police officers after he allegedly got involved in a tussle with a trooper at the scene. The law enforcement officers struck him with a baton and shackled him and didn’t call for medical help even though Howe said that he couldn’t breathe. It wasn’t until he was on the ground at the Andover state police barracks and unresponsive that medical assistance was sought. Howe was pronounced dead upon arriving at the hospital.
While prosecutors had cleared the officers of wrongdoing, Howe’s wife and three children believe that he was the victim of excessive use of police force. They named 33 troopers and officers in their complaint. According to Eagle-Tribune, photos taken by one of its photographers show Howe face down on the ground with some of the cops on top of him.
Unfortunately, law enforcement officials aren’t always charged in incidents involving the use of excessive force when detaining a suspect. (Following Howe’s death, state police looked at its protocols pertaining to sobriety checkpoints and found no “shortcomings or problems.”) This, however, doesn’t mean that you cannot go ahead and pursue North Andover, Massachusetts personal injury damages for the harm that you or a loved one suffered.
Police are never allowed to use excessive use of force-whether intentionally or unintentionally-and when they do it is those that are the target of that extra force who end up getting hurt. These victims don’t realize that they have certain rights, including protection from Massachusetts police brutality, harassment, verbal abuse, or other acts of violence. Not only may your civil rights have been violated but you also may be entitled to compensation.
Traffic stop death lawsuit settled for $1.6M, Boston Herald, November 19, 2012
Howe family settles suit, Eagle-Tribune, November 18, 2012
More Blog Posts:
Wrongful Death?: Shooting of Trayvon Martin by Neighborhood Watch Captain Captures the National Spotlight, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, March 29, 2012
Boston Police Brutality Alleged in Federal Lawsuit Filed by Man Who Recorded Friend’s Arrest, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, November 8, 2011
Westport Cop Settles Case Alleging Bristol County, Massachusetts Excessive Use of Force, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, August 9, 2011