Family of chase suspect files wrongful death suit - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Family of chase suspect files wrongful death suit

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GUNTERSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

The family of a Marshall County man who died after jumping from a bridge to avoid capture has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

The suit was filed by family members of Deonta Griffin against the cities of Guntersville, Boaz, Albertville as well as individual officers involved in the pursuit.

A body recovered from Lake Guntersville in April was formally identified through dental records as that of Deonta Griffin.

According to police, Griffin led authorities on a chase on January 5th after they tried to serve him a warrant for his arrest.

Officials said Griffin bailed out of his car during the chase, then plunged into the water from the Veterans Memorial Bridge.

The family said the officers who chased Griffin attacked, or attempted to attack, Griffin with their weapons and police dogs, forcing Griffin off the bridge to his death.

The family, their lawyer, Attorney Mark Overall, and some of the witnesses, held a press conference on Tuesday at the Mount Zion Baptist Church on 1444 Carlisle Avenue in Guntersville.

Overall said Griffin was the subject of a previous police beating and believes he may have been in genuine fear of his life.

"He was forced.  He was compelled by the police either through with their weapons, their batons, or with their dogs that he was forced off the bridge.  And it's because of that, that myself and the family, the only thing we're really looking for are answers. Where's the video showing the chase?" Overall asked.

Overall said he anticipates filing the federal suit in 30 to 45 days.

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