Federal lawsuit dismissed against Huntsville Police Dept. over t - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Federal lawsuit dismissed against Huntsville Police Dept. over teen’s death


A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed against the Huntsville Police Department over the death of a juvenile during a drug sting operation.

The judge found that the victim's constitutional rights were not violated.

According to the 38-page court filing, a routine drug arrest turned deadly for a Huntsville teen after he swallowed a bag of drugs in June 2013. 

But the teen's family won't be allowed to pursue a lawsuit they filed any longer. The judge said the officers involved in the arrest are not to blame for the boy's death.

According to court documents, STAC agents arranged a plan for the teen victim to meet with a confidential informant and planned to take him into custody on possible drug charges. The teen, who is only identified as "N.S.," hit an officer in the head after he was ordered to walk towards him. The teen was then tackled to the ground, resisted arrest, placed a baggie of ecstasy into his mouth and swallowed.

Court documents state officers then tried to open the teen's mouth and used multiple pens and a flashlight, but it didn't work. The teen lost consciousness and died five days later at Huntsville Hospital.

The ruling concludes that the plaintiffs failed to establish a constitutional violation and ultimately threw the case out.

The judge said he viewed the case and allegations from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene rather than with hindsight to come to his conclusion.

Huntsville’s police chief declined an on-camera interview.

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