“But I have full confidence the police officers responding on the scene handled this matter appropriately.” The teen’s autopsy was not released until the lawsuit was filed, though Nancy Smith says she has not received a copy of the report. In the autopsy report, the Alabama Department of Forensic Science came to inconclusive findings, saying they don’t know what killed the teen.
“Because of the circumstances of this event, it is difficult to discern if the decedent died from a drug overdose or an asphyxia event exacerbated by either the occlusion of the airway by the foreign object, a possible vascular occlusion associated with the neck restraint, or from a combination of all the events that transpired during this incident,” the report says.
But the report contains no indication that a bag of drugs was found in the teen’s stomach. According to the lawsuit, it was June 13 of 2013 when officers used an 18-year-old informant to approach N.S. and ask to buy drugs from him.
For some reason, during the operation, a female plainclothes officer ran toward the skinny, six-foot, 150 pound teenager — but did not identify herself as a cop. When N.S. walked the other way, another officer tackled him, slapped on handcuffs then pepper-sprayed the teen. One officer dug his knees into the boy’s back, making it impossible for the restrained teen to breathe and breaking his ribs. Also while N.S. was restrained, choking and helpless, the officers “without proper training or experience, probed Minor N.S.’s throat with a sharp oblong instrument as he was choking,” the lawsuit says. The teenager was hospitalized, but died from his injuries five days later.
The lawsuit does not say how much Nancy Smith is seeking in damages, but does ask that the Huntsville police come up new policies regarding excessive force and how to use confidential informants. Source